web analytics
The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Image 11
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Image 11

Page history last edited by Oregonian 1 week, 3 days ago

General notes on Image 11

  • This is the image for August and the immigration reference is to Italy.
  • This image is thought to be linked to Verse 3 and the location is thought to be Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The proposed solution for this casque is given on the Image 11 Verse 3 Solution page.
  • There was a claim in October of 2019 that the Boston casque had been found. We have a page on the wiki where contributors are welcome to discuss the claim and share and evidence that leads them to believe it or doubt it.
  • Please note: Many of the clues on this page point to the Back Bay Fens in Boston.  The guidelines for The Secret specifically ruled out any possibility that a casque could be buried in "any public or private flower bed."  That would rule out all of the Kelleher Rose Garden, so please do not do any digging there.  We don't want to create problems for the gardeners who maintain that beautiful space.



Image 11


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.

  • C4 & K9 - These perfectly round, small craters in the stone seem significant.  There's another one in Image 8.
  • E2, C3, C7, & E9 - The lines in the top of the arch were long thought to show a set of numbers (possibly because of the similarity to numerals around a clock face).  The more likely interpretation is that they correspond to cuts in the pavement on a sidewalk (see image matches below).
  • E6 - The single star (or planet) is similar to the star in Image 8.  The star could represent a streetlight at the "4-shaped" lines on the sidewalk.
  • H1 - There are letters faintly written along the edge of the circle.
  • J3 & K8 - The area where her hair fans out looks similar to a sky-line, or perhaps piers extending into a river.
  • J7, K7, & L7 - The wavy blue lines on the woman's sleeve are clearly meant to tell us something.  If they are letters, they may spell out "BOS" in a possible reference to Boston.  If they are numbers, the might be showing "1105."
  • J7, K7, & L7 -The wavy blue lines on the upper, left arm could also be a reference to the Muddy River flowing through the arm-shaped Back Bay Fens (as in this map). The Back Bay Fens form the shape of a left arm, running from a shoulder at the Boylston Street Bridge, to an elbow at the Gardner Museum, to a wrist at Brookline Avenue.
  • J8 - The jewel is a peridot, the birth stone for August.
  • J8 - The fairy holding the jewel may be modeled on a figure in a painting called The Red Cross Knight, illustrating a scene from The Faerie Queen (see below).
  • J9 - The cracks in the wall could be a map of streets or paths.
  • K3 - There is clearly something written on the woman's right elbow.  It could be the number 70 backwards, or it could be something else.
  • K5 - There are several places that have been identified as possible matches for the castle shown on the jewel box (see below). 
  • K6 - The number "42" is on the bracelet, possibly as a latitude hint (see below).
  • K9 - The number "112" is written on the wall, with a "2" below.  It's possible that the "112" is the middle part of a reversed Boston zip code, 02115, which would include parts of the Back Bay Fens and the Emerald Necklace, but not Mother's Rest or the Victory Gardens.
  • L4 - The uppermost symbol on the woman's stole is hidden in the shadows, but it appears to be the numeral "2" turned sideways in a box.  That might represent Massachusetts Route 2, which passes through Beacon Street and Kenmore Square and has the symbol of a plain "2" in a box (see below).
  • L8 - The flower is a gladiolus, the birth flower for August.
  • M1 - Some faint dark lettering above the "railing" but below the bubble appears to spell out "XXII."  There may also be an "L" to the right of the bird.
  • M2 & M4 - The two floating bubbles are very similar to the floating bubbles of Image 3.
  • M2 - The bird could be a peregrine falcon or a gyrfalcon.  It could also be a representation of Horus.  There is a stone sculpture of Horus in the courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, which borders the Back Bay Fens on the south side (across Fenway).
  • M4 & M7 - Some of the shapes on the stole hanging from the woman's garments could be maritime signal flags.
  • N1 - Between the horizontal lines on the wall there appears to be some faint blue numbers that may be 74.902.
  • N2 - The lifted leg of the falcon creates a mysterious silhouette of a pig's head.  It could be a reference to the Porcellian Club at Harvard, but few other clues point in that direction.  There are (at least) two restaurants in central Boston with "pig" in their names, but web searches seem to indicate that The Squealing Pig opened in 1998, and The Salty Pig opened in 2011.  The strongest interpretation is that the pig is actually a reference to bacon and is meant as a playful reference to Beacon Street (see below).
  • N2 - The bird is standing on a T-shaped perch.  This could be a reference to the Boston-area public transportation system (the MBTA), which is often called "the T" because its logo shows a capital T in a circle.  There is a Kenmore MBTA station at Kenmore Square and it is marked on maps and on the street with the "T" logo.  The Kenmore station is five stops (steps?) from the Park Street hub and it is the closest stop to Fenway Park.
  • N7 - The triangle inside the square may be a reference to the iconic Citgo sign in Boston's Kenmore Square.  The square is at the intersection of Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue, which ties in with several other clues.  If the broad line behind the pig represents Beacon Street (Bacon Street), it makes sense that the line would cross both the T-shaped perch and the triangle design.
  • O2 - There appears to be a face and possibly something else in the faded design on the wall.
  • O3 - The initials of the artist are written below the tail of the bird: JJP.
  • O8 - The arch with the squares at the bottom of the picture is sometimes thought to represent the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.  Alternatively, it could be a match for the Boylston Street Bridge or one of the other arched stone bridges in the Back Bay Fens.
  • P1 & P2 - The tabletop in the lower left corner is an odd addition that doesn't appear to serve any purpose.  It may represent a utility box near the 2C site (see image matches below).
  • P7 - The floating sheet at the bottom middle of the image doesn't serve any obvious purpose, but it must be there for a reason.  It's too reflective to be paper, but it's thin and slightly flexed, as if to rule out a mirror.


Other Notes:

  • The facial features of the woman match up well with the statue of Christopher Columbus in Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park.  But several parts of the image match up well with features found in or near Boston's Back Bay Fens.  The hints in Verse 3 also seem to point to both of those two places.  It's possible that searchers are meant to start at the statue and then progress to the Fens. The "five steps" in the verse might be metaphorical references to city blocks, subway stops, freeway exits, or something similar.
  • The two definitive sources for information on the public parks in this area are the Back Bay Fens Preservation Master Plan, which was written in 1977, and the Emerald Necklace Parks Master Plan, which was written in 1989 and updated (with annotations) in 2001.
  • This image seems to be paired in some way with Image 1.  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, both images appear to have a connection to a place named "Strawberry Hill."
  • This image also seems to be paired in some way with Image 3.  Both images show central figures in front of arched, stone windows at nighttime.  Both also feature floating bubbles.
  • This image may also be connected in some way to the drawing that appears on the title page of The Secret.



Image Matches

  A credible case could be made that the various objects in the lower half of the painting spell out the letters of BOSTON.  The circles could just be circles, of course, but the T, N, and S seem very clear and deliberate.  The B is only slightly more subtle.


  The nice thing about this interpretation is that the T in "BOSTON" would therefore represent "the T" in Boston, which no doubt would have amused Byron Preiss.

  The woman has a strong facial resemblance to the Christopher Columbus Statue located in Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park in Boston's North End.  This would make sense with both the connection to Italy and the presence of the globes in the painting.


  According to the inscription on the pedestal, the statue was dedicated in October of 1979, which would have made it still a new and notable feature when Preiss visited in 1982.


  The woman's hands are positioned similarly to those on the Columbus statue in Columbus, Ohio.  The match is very similar in both size and position (though the right is obviously rotated). 


  Also, note that both Columbus statues feature the "orb stool" seen in the very bottom right of Image 11.

  The strange shape formed by the woman's hair just above the gladiolus could represent the piers that extend into Boston Harbor. The North End is Boston's Little Italy, and the piers in this area curve out like in her hair. 


  Note that, in the satellite image at far right, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is the green space on the north side of the New England Aquarium.  The wharf in that area extends out at an angle and then bends halfway through.  The bend and the projections are very similar to the shape formed by the woman's hair.

  The box in the woman's left hand is the central focal point of the entire painting.  It features a castle with these distinctive features:

  • two towers of differing widths and heights,
  • narrow windows arranged diagonally on one tower,
  • battlements at the top of a wall,
  • a pitched roof on a building adjacent to the towers, and
  • an acuminate tip at the top of one of the towers.

  The final feature may be the most important one.  There are many structures in Boston that are built in a Romanesque Revival style featuring cylindrical towers capped with conical roofs.  (One notable example is the fire station at the corner of Boylston St. and Hereford St.)  Some of these structures also have battlements and pitched roofs, but - with one known exception - the conical roofs on the towers always form straight lines to the tip.


  One potential match that has been found for the castle on the box is Boston's Armory of the First Corps of Cadets, located at the intersection of Arlington Stree and Columbus Avenue.  It has battlements, a pitched roof, narrow windows arranged on a diagonal, and two towers, one wide and one narrow.  The tower heights are reversed in the painting and the narrow, offset windows are moved from the skinny tower to the wide tower, but - most distinctively - the wide tower still has the distinctive acuminate or tapering tip.


  The armory was built in the 1890's and over the years it has been used for many purposes, including a library and a Smith and Wollensky steak house.  It is currently being used as an event space called Castle at Park Plaza.

  Another possible match for the castle is the Boston University Castle. It has battlements with the same number of openings as the battlement on the box.  It also has a pitched roof at the same perspective as the image.


  The tower on the Image 11 box looks very similar to several towers that Palencar inserted into Image 5.


  The photo on the right features two interpretations of how the Boston University Castle may be featured in Image 11.  Also, notice the towers from Image 5 (Chicago) added as a reference.  The Image 5 towers contain many of the same features (offset windows, etc.) as the tower in Image 11.  These towers in Image 5 were of no importance to guiding the hunter to the Chicago Cask, they were used to obscure the real clue which is the Chicago Water Tower. Palencar may have been using the same technique in Image 11.


  Notably, the entrance to the Boston University Castle is flanked by two gateposts topped with spheres, as shown in the photo.


  The Boston University Castle is located on Bay State Rd. across Storrow drive from the Charles River Esplanade, at the end of Back St. where it curves and becomes Granby.



  The fairy holding the jewel may be modeled on the character of "Faith" in a painting called The Red Cross Knight, which was painted by Boston artist J.S. Copley.  The painting illustrates a scene from The Faerie Queene by Sir Edmund Spenser.  Copley Square in Boston is located a few blocks north of Columbus Avenue between Clarendon and Dartmouth Streets.


  Note that there appears to be a four-leaf clover in the fairy's wing.


  The fairy may also be connected in some way to the statue on the fountain at Statler Park, which is holding a bowl in both hands and balancing on an orb.  Statler Park is on the opposite corner of Columbus Ave. from the Castle at Park Plaza.

  The wall to the right of the jewel has a pattern of cracks that resembles a map. It's possible that the pattern represents an intersection of roads at the mouth of the Back Bay Fens, where the Muddy River meets the Charles.


  The lower right corner of the pattern forms a quarter note (also called a crotchet). If the other lines represent a map, the musical note might represent either the Boston Conservatory or the Berklee College of Music, both of which are located beside the Back Bay Fens where Boylston Street meets Fenway.


  Alternatively, the green and orange lines could both be Boylston Street, and the blue line would be Fenway.


  Either way, the map would lead us to an area of the Back Bay Fens near a playground called Mothers Rest.





  The jewel held by the fairy is a peridot, the birthstone for August, but the cut of this one makes it resemble an emerald.  The shape and angle of the jewel, as it is held here by the fairy, matches the rectangles in the neckline of the woman's dress.  It's possible that this is meant as a reference to the Emerald Necklace, a string of public parks in the Boston area.


  The necklace could also be a match for the belt buckle on one of the figures in the John Boyle O'Reilly memorial located beside Mothers Rest in the Back Bay Fens.


  The outline of the bird, the perch, and the lifted talon forms the shape of a pig's head in profile.  The head appears to grow out of horizontal lines running across the wall. 


  It is possible that the pig is a reference to bacon and the lines are meant to be a street, and the combination of the two ("bacon" + "street") forms a rebus for "Beacon Street" (one of the major streets in Boston).


  If you want to get really silly, you can add in the beak of the bird to make a rebus of "beak + bacon + street = Beacon Street."  That would explain the need for the bird in the picture.



  The bird's perch forms a thick, sans-serif, capital "T" and it is shaded to appear mostly black.  In Boston, a symbol like this on maps or street corners indicates a stop for the public transportation system (known locally as "the T"). 


  The Kenmore T Station is beside Beacon Street where it reaches Kenmore Square.  The Kenmore T Station is the closest subway stop to Fenway Park and its fabled "Green Monster."


"MBTA" by Dream out loud - Own work.

Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

  The woman in the figure appears to be a priestess of some kind and she is wearing a stole that hangs down from her vestments behind each of her arms.  The stole is decorated with various symbols, each contained inside a rectangle.


  Directly across from the "bacon" + "street" rebus for Beacon street (and within the lines that would define the street) there is a triangle symbol on the stole.  One of the iconic symbols of Boston is the enormous Citgo sign located on Beacon Street at Kenmore Square.


Citgo boston.jpg
"Citgo boston" by Rob Roby - Transferred from en.wikipedia.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

  The "double A" symbol near the top of the stole on the left might be a reference to street grids.  If so, it could be a reference to Beacon Street, where it intersects Bay State Road and Commonwealth Avenue just north of the Kenmore T station and just northeast of Kenmore Square.

  Directly above the double-A symbol on the stole, there is a "2" inside a square and turned sideways.  (The image at near right shows the symbol as it is in the painting, the symbol rotated 90 degrees, and the symbol with the "2" and the square outlined.)


Massachusetts Route 2 is a major state highway that runs along Commonwealth Avenue (overlapping US 20).  Its symbol is a "2" inside a box.  The intersection of Route 2 and Beacon Street is what creates Kenmore Square.


Route 2 marker
"MA Route 2" by SPUI - Own work.

Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

 Two of the shapes on the stole show a checkerboard pattern of nine small squares fitting together to form a larger square.  The one on the woman's right (our left) is like an inverse of the Purina logo, because it has five white squares and four dark squares.


  The pattern hanging from the other arm keeps white in the middle and the corners, but it breaks the checkerboard pattern by having a solid row of white across the bottom.



  The overall layout of the picture, with a large circle above a narrow rectangle, forms what is sometimes called a "keyhole" shape.  The James P. Kelleher Rose Garden is a keyhole garden with the same shape.


Note that the illustration includes:

- the concentric circles of paths at the top,

- the narrowing to a single, thin path between the two shapes, and

- the path tracing the outline of the rectangle below.


The Kelleher Rose Garden is located due south of Fenway Park in Boston's Back Bay Fens.




  The panel on the front of the woman's dress could be a stylized version of the design on a planter in the Kelleher Rose Garden.  The planter can be seen in the background of the large picture on the Delta Fountains site.


  The design on the dress also seem stylistically connected to the fence design on the title page.

  Rose garden planter: Seventh panel

  An alternative match for the "AA" symbol would be the shape of the walkways just west of the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden.


  The "AA" could also refer to the Boston Conservatory's Albert Alphin Library, which is directly across Fenway from Mothers Rest.


  The way the woman's hair flares out in wide, dark "wings" on either side of her shoulders gives her an appearance very similar to that of the statue in Veterans Memorial Park, in the Back Bay Fens.  


  The female figure in the statue represents Victory (or Winged Victory).  The statue was created by John F. Paramino and was erected on this site in 1949 as part of the World War II memorial.  The photo at far right shows how it looked in May of 1960.


  Note the white, box-shaped structure in front of the statue, toward the middle of the circle.  The rim near the top makes it appear from a distance to have a lid.  This could be a match for the box in the woman's hands.


  The circular WWII memorial in the middle of the memorial park was built in 1949.  The Vietnam and Korean war memorials were added later between 1987 and 1990.

  The curved "checkerboard" arch in the lower right corner of the picture might represent an arched stone bridge. There are several of these historic bridges in the Back Bay Fens.


  The combination of the arch and the circular tower shown on the box might represent the Riverway bridge and tower shown at far right.  There are steps going down from the bridge to the river, so this is one of the places where you can "Face the water / Your back to the stairs."

Riverway bridge and tower

Photo of Riverway bridge and tower by nsub1 on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License

  The spheres in the image almost certainly represent the large, spherical streetlights found in the Charlesgate area of the Emerald Necklace (see photo at far right).  The spheres were opaque, featureless, and connected to their pillars by a thin cylinder.


  At a more general level, the spheres could also represent globes and be either a general reference to Columbus or a general reference to Boston, where the main paper is the Boston Globe.  Alternatively, they could even be a reference to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and its famous Mapparium, located just a few blocks to the east of Mothers Rest.


  The globe and the checkered arch below it appear to form a representation of a circular brick structure in the Charlesgate area (see overhead view at far right).  Here's a bird's-eye view of the area looking toward the east.


  The structure is known as the "two circles" or "2C" site.  It is located on a tiny triangle of land between the Charlesgate offramp and Charlesgate East.  According to the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation: The 2C site "was constructed in 1965-1966 as part of the overall construction for the Charlesgate Interchange (aka Bowker Overpass). It was constructed by one of DCR's predecessor agencies, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC)."


  One of the most interesting (and overlooked) features of the image is the floating white surface in the middle of the lower edge.  It has a slight ripple, as if to suggest that it isn't a rigid surface like a table, and it doesn't appear to have any thickness at all.  It reflects the pole and the edge of the woman's robes, but it does so in a way that deliberately blurs those sharp lines.


  More than anything else, this surface resembles sunlit water.  Verse 3 tells us that we should end up facing the water, and we know that Palencar incorporated a photo from each hiding spot into each image.  Could this be the reflection we should be seeing in Boston?



  The table at lower left in the image is an interesting match for a utility box that once stood in the Charlesgate area beside the "two circles" structure.  Note the white surface and the top that extends out over the sides.  Most distinctively, note the freeway wall in the background that carries a slender pipe, similar to the ridge that goes across the wall in Image 11.


  The box has been removed now, but it can still be seen in Google street views from earlier years.

Let's pause for a moment and talk about streetlights.  Cities need to illuminate their streets, so they generally try to plant these lights in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the curb (photo #1, at left above).  But sometimes the sidewalk extends all the way to the curb.  In those cases, the streetlight has to be in its own little box of concrete (photo #2) to lessen the risk of a crack forming.  The box at the base of the streetlight has nothing to do with the expansion joints (those lines that run across a sidewalk), but sometimes it will intersect one of them (photo #3).  It's really rare though for a streetlight box to line up perfectly with an expansion joint to form an "h" in the sidewalk (photo #4).


The "4" shape in the "window ring" behind the woman is a strikingly good match for the lines that dissect the sidewalk to accommodate the base of a streetlight beside the 2C structure.  (The streetlight is a few steps north of the utility box shown above.)



If this interpretation above is correct, it might mean that all of the lines and cracks on the rim around the circular window represent features of a particular sidewalk.  The most likely candidate is the sidewalk just north of the 2C site.


  The lower third of the image, below the woman's waist, contains five spheres — two bubbles and three globes.  The positioning and size of the globes isn't likely to be random.


  We know that Palencar was working from photos taken on the final spot by Preiss, and those photos would show the lamp globes at different sizes, depending on the different distances from the camera.  The central and highest globe would be the closest one, followed by the one on the left and then the one on the right.


  The Two Circles site has five spherical street lamps.  The computer-generated image at right shows what a person would see if she were standing at the "h" shape in the sidewalk and looking south.


  The three streetlights on the right in this view roughly match the size and positioning of the three globes in the image.  The remaining two streetlight on the left would be the two (relatively unimportant) bubbles in the image.


This may be a second "Aha Image" that shows what a searcher would see when standing at the final spot.




Latitude / Longitude Hints

The "42" on the woman's cuff could be a reference to the latitude of the greater Boston area, which stretches from 42.2 degrees north to 42.5 degrees north. 


The longitude of the greater Boston area ranges from 70.9°W to 71.2°W.  No numbers within that range appear in the picture (CONTESTED SEE PANEL BELOW)


The "112" above the flower has led many people to believe that the casque might be in Salt Lake City, Utah (located at 40.7°N 112°W).  That interpretation would make it hard to understand the "42" on the cuff.


The unique curved section in her hair right above the flower could also be an upside down 3. If one looks at the "112" upside down, it looks like "711". The 3 is in-line then with 711, making 7113. Boston's rough longitude is west 71.13 (or -71.13). Being upside down could represent that it is negative (or west).


The fact that the 3 is in her hair and not in the flower could represent use in both coordinates. 42.3, -71.13 is a point that lies on the border of the official city of Boston.


Alternatively, the 3 may only apply to the latitude (42). 42.3, -71.1 would then be the implied coordinates. Copley Sq., Boston Public Library, the "Two Circles", the parks within the Fens and some other areas of interest (like Harvard's Medical School) lie within these coordinates (more precisely defined as .01 degrees off these coordinates).




Using both the "42" and the "112" as map coordinates is the worst possible solution because 42°N 112°W would place us in remote southeastern Idaho.




Questions, questions, questions...

  • Are there any good photos showing what the "Two Circles" structure would have looked like in 1981?
  • Does the "Two Circles" structure at Charlesgate Park have an official name? When (and why) was it built? What was its intended purpose?
  • Who's going to get the necessary permissions and go dig this thing up?




How to obtain permission for attempted recovery




Process Status:

Contact info Status:

As of Date:


Contact information:




Alternate Contact info: 


Permissions Process:



Comments (52)

Michael Montilla said

at 10:48 pm on Oct 15, 2015

To All;
I live in Boston (I used to live literally feet from the "two circles"), and a few days late next week I will be going around all the sites of interest and will be looking around and taking photos. I am providing a rough list of the sites I'll be visiting below. If you think I should go check out anything else please respond and I'll put it on the list.

I will be walking around and investigating;
The 2 Circles
All the Sites along the Muddy River (including rose and victory garden, both museums, and the Riverway)
Copley Square and the Boston Public Library
The Marathon Route in this area.

I will also be visiting alternative theory sites such as;
The Commonwealth Ave. Mall
The Charles River Esplanade/Holmes Memorial
The North End/Paul Revere Mall
The Park Plaza Castle/Lincoln Statue
Harvard's Medical Campus (technically in Boston not Cambridge)
Harvard Stadium/Soldier's Field (also Boston but part of Main Campus)
Harvard's Historic Main (Cambridge) Campus

Oregonian said

at 6:01 pm on Oct 17, 2015

Thanks for the offer! As you go through your tour, I hope you'll keep a list of all the places where it's possible to stand on soil and "Face the water / Your back to the stairs." There can't be very many.

Also, here are some questions you might be able to answer:
- We already know that the paths in the Fenway Victory Gardens are identified by letters. Are the plots identified by numbers? Is there a plot "2C"?
- Are there any steps in the Victory Gardens?
- What is the building on Agassiz Road in the middle of the Fens? Are there any steps in the area around the building? (Particularly, are there any steps where one could stand facing the water and facing the Victory Gardens on the other side?)

Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.

Michael Montilla said

at 11:34 pm on Oct 17, 2015

Hey Oregonian,

I'll keep that in mind.

As for your questions;
- I'm not sure about the victory garden plots (I know some people name their plots), but I'll take a look next week.
- I don't think there are any steps in the victory garden itself but I may be wrong. There are definitely a few random sets of steps dotted around the Fens though. I can think of one near the Museum of Fine Arts that leads down to the water.
- That building is called "The Duck House". I remember it being a rundown bathroom. It is now closed. It was built in around 1900 and it was still open in 1982 (it closed around 1990). I've heard people say it used to be a concession stand in the summer (not sure though). Although I'm not sure of what it used to be, it definitely used to have a second purpose besides being a restroom. WHATS INTERESTING about that building is the side you cannot see from GoogleMaps street view. It resembles a face. It has two square window as eyes and an arched doorway as a mouth. I don't know how this ties in with the clues, but when your standing in that small field, the face stands out and is haunting. There are definitely steps in that area as well. Next week I'll be spending a lot of time in this area.

Some other things about the painting that intrigues me (I'll update the page later);
-The single star, I have no real idea what it means but I have some weak guesses. (Boston has many old star forts by the water like Fort Independence and Fort Warren (which sits on an island I'm think is named after St. George).
-The light on her neck emanating from the box looks like the historic profile of Charlestown (which is made up of the famous Bunker and Breeds Hills) and Boston (Beacon Hill).
-The triangle on her scarf resembles a light pattern the Citgo Sign goes through.
-The pattern on her tunic looks like the Harvard Medical School Quad on Longwood ave.

Anyways, I'm here to help.
-Mike "Monty" Montilla

Michael Montilla said

at 1:43 pm on Oct 21, 2015

Remember clues in the image may reference something that can only be seen at the site. Check out the photos and stuff I post after this weekend. I'll be visiting a whole bunch of sites all over Boston (there is a list in one of my comments above). Hopefully they'll help.

The scratch in the circle above the women is one of the least talked about aspects of the image. It DEFINITELY means something, but most of the theories I've read about it are totally unbelievable (i.e. that it's a reference to 11 or 12 o'clock). I'll keep an eye out for noticeable scratches and cracks while I tour the sites this weekend.

-Mike "Monty" Montilla

Michael Montilla said

at 9:58 pm on Oct 22, 2015

So theres a possibility that the pathways in the Victory Garden were not lettered in 1982.... I'm looking into it. I used to live in that neighborhood and I know people who've lived in the area since the 1970's, and they're getting in contact with a lady who has maintained a plot in the Victory Gardens since the 90's. I'll be in the Victory Garden on Saturday and I'll make sure to take photos of both Path P and Path R just in case.

There are other theories concerning the line mentioning "all the letters".
- The streets intersecting Boylston St. by the Public Library are in alphabetical order, and the Library is in "The middle section", that is to say that the Library is between Dartmouth St. and Exeter St, which is the middle block of the alphabetized streets.
- Facsimiles of the Letters between Horace Walpole and Horace Mann are available at the Library.
- Long shot theory; Streets in South Boston are Lettered (A st., B st., C st., etc.), and some think that maybe the memorial on top of Dorchester Heights (aka. Telegraph Hill) is important to locating the casque (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorchester_Heights).

I personally think the victory garden is important though.

Anyways, There are many sites within the victory garden that are within the rules. Most of the garden that runs along the muddy river is unmaintained, and there are "buffer zones" of grass between the sidewalks/paths and the cars on the street that can be dug up.

Oregonian said

at 8:20 am on Oct 23, 2015

"theres a possibility that the pathways in the Victory Garden were not lettered in 1982.... I'm looking into it"

That would be a VERY important thing to confirm. And were there signposts with the letters? If a person stood near the garden in 1982, would the letters really be "there to see"?

So many times with The Secret we try to work from a bird's-eye view, using Google Maps or something, and we forget that Preiss was mostly just walking around taking Polaroid pictures of what he saw. He definitely incorporated some maps into the artwork, but they were maps that would have been available on paper in 1982 (mostly park brochures and road maps). It doesn't seem likely that the Victory Garden path map would have been available on paper to a tourist just passing by. And it also doesn't seem likely that the paths would have been printed and labeled on any street maps or park maps of the area. So either the paths were labeled with lettered signs in 1982 or the whole Victory Garden interpretation is likely to be a mistake.

Crimson Lion said

at 3:41 am on Nov 10, 2015

hey, i found a stray 5 on this painting. not sure if it'll be helpful. http://prntscr.com/91332i

Oregonian said

at 7:55 am on Nov 10, 2015

How did you manage to get such a close shot of that bit? Do you have a physical copy of the book? It would be great to get some closeups of other areas, like the shadowy symbols on the straps or the face behind the bird perch.

Eddie said

at 9:56 am on Nov 10, 2015

You can get a picture that clear just zooming in on the high-res images. The shadowy symbols on the straps look like:

Above on the left is a square that looks to have a jagged top edge. Below on the left seems to be a scribble that looks like the letters "PW"

On the right, I can't make out what's above. Below is the number 7 with a little hash on the vertical arm like some people write it.

Interestingly, right below the 7, I can see what looks like the word "arena" stretching from the lighter rectangle of the "rose garden" to where the right column ends.

I may just be seeing things, though--I've been considering that the old Boston Arena (now the Matthews Arena on the Northeastern University campus) may be the coliseum with metal walls. It was built in 1910, and was the original home of the Boston Bruins.

Kritzberg said

at 4:53 pm on Dec 16, 2015

After looking at the 2 c's area I saw that there were 3 of the spherical streetlights visible from the grass, in a way similar to how they are set up in the image. I think if we find a spot where the 3 spheres are in the same place as the image, from the digger's perspective, it could give away where to dig.

Kritzberg said

at 9:16 pm on Dec 16, 2015

I did find this ( http://m.imgur.com/8Lvxxri ) picture which is the closest I could find to matching the image. I think that instead of a digging location they are an Aha! so when walking down the sidewalk they would line up, and also it would directly contradict verse 3 and the facing the water. So the casque is probably in the left of the circles.

Oregonian said

at 12:58 pm on Jan 13, 2019

Kritzberg posted the "spheres = streetlights in perspective" theory three years ago and I'm more and more convinced that it is correct. We know that Preiss took pictures of distinctive views that could be seen from the final hiding spots so that Palencar could incorporate those photos into his paintings. The collection of spherical streetlights at the Two Circles site would definitely qualify as such a view. Palencar cleverly made it look like the three spheres were different sizes, by putting the largest one at the back partially obscured by the woman's robes, but the streetlights are really all the same size and the sizing is just a trick of perspective. This also explains why the largest globe is the highest one. The closer a photographer is standing to the streetlight, the higher and larger it would appear in the photo.

This will need some thought and experimentation, but it shouldn't be too hard to find where the photo was taken. There are five of those spherical streetlights at the Two Circles site. Theoretically there should be 60 ways to arrange 5 different objects into an ordered triad (5!-2!) but that's only if we can move things around. When we look at the actual (fixed) positioning of the streetlamps at the site we'll probably be limited right away to fewer than 10 possibilities. From there it should be easy to narrow it down. This is well worth a shot.

Laurrah said

at 11:33 pm on Dec 23, 2015

Hi All! First off, great site! I just recently found out about The Secret and find it fascinating. I'm from the Boston area and am in the process of opening a tour business (launching in the spring), so I'll be in the speculated areas quite often, and will keep my eyes peeled. I'm happy to take picture requests, if any out of towners would like specific shots.

I'm not sure if this would fit in, but has there been any thought that the large circle above her head could represent looking up at the rotunda in the historical landmark The Custom House? There's a starburst pattern on the top when you look up (with the US seal inside). Also, someone mentioned they see a pink heart- there's a flag hanging under the rotunda that has a heart. I have no idea if this would fit, or if it has to be "outside" landmarks.

Inside the bubble in M4, there appears to be a brownish/reddish dot. Does anyone know if that is in the original image, or if it's just an after effect of from scanning/uploading the image? This is a major stretch, but my first impression is that it looked a bit like a single baked bean (hinting towards Boston), but I'm assuming it most likely wasn't in the original image from the book.

Happy hunting!

Dane said

at 6:52 pm on Jan 1, 2016

The 42 on the womans wrist could symbolize ww2 memorial in back bay fens, which looks extremely similar to the statue at the memorial and WW2 was in 1942. the rose garden it is next to has the exact same shape as the window and symbols around the skirt in image 3. "All of the letters here to see" are the victory gardens, which are all lettered rows. Anyone have any further info on the digging location? Its almost certainly in this area of Boston.

Dane said

at 7:07 pm on Jan 1, 2016

If you look at the roundhouse near riverwalk bridge it totally looks like a buried castle. It faces what used to be a river but Olmsted diverged it long ago. On the side facing the old river is a metal door that leads up to stairs to a benching/resting area that looks like a castle. its a ways from the other clues we have better solutions for, but the 18 days 12 hours clue might be what brings us this far in the park. Perhaps something to do with the old chairiot route that runs next to the castle shaped building?

Dane said

at 7:30 pm on Jan 14, 2016

Beacon Hill Eagle Monument on Beacon ave in Boston would explain the pig next to the eagle in the image. Definitely a match.

also green tower of lights could be the lombard light, donated in 1981 which is now in the mall district.

check them out here


Dane said

at 7:54 pm on Jan 14, 2016

As for the 22 next to the flower in the image above, if you follow back bay fens past the victory gardens north you eventually hit beacon as a cross street. Here is a freeway sign bordering the river. https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3496008,-71.0928661,3a,75y,138.7h,96.83t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sL-tanrI2ucwKkw0x-Pa5BA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Dane said

at 7:59 pm on Jan 14, 2016

Dane said

at 6:11 am on Jan 17, 2016

Pretty solid breakthrough. O and P 6,7 in the dark park of the picture there is a subtle layer over it. Looks like something says ikor and something says "by 3 left" in the bottom right hand corner where the bottom square tile should be. This is the key to the image.

Dane said

at 6:52 pm on Oct 22, 2016

Dane said

at 5:22 pm on Nov 23, 2016

I had someone go check it out for me since I'm not local.


tjmurphy said

at 5:26 pm on Nov 23, 2016

That hole doesn't look nearly deep enough, or nearly wide enough. We know that the hole has to be 3 feet deep, since that's what the book says is the maximum burial depth. I think any serious dig will also need to be 3 feet wide, since nobody knows EXACTLY where it will be, down to the inch. Even if your whole is deep enough, if the treasure is 1 inch to the left, you'll never know it was there. I think that this dig was not sufficient to disprove the hypothesis that the treasure may be in that location.

However, you also didn't provide your evidence to suggest this spot. I don't see why this place fits the riddle.

Dane said

at 8:53 pm on Nov 23, 2016

Actually, I had my digger use survey flags which are essentially 2 foot needles to poke into the ground in and around the entire lot behind the pump building. We chose to dig this specific spot in the 2C area because of these verses "your back to the stairs" and "face the water" and many image references from the picture. We poked these into our hole after we dug reaching around 4 feet in depth. We also inserted our survey flags sideways into the hole to check the surrounding 2 foot radius around our hole. We considered the grey boxes in the image to be an direct reference (like the columns from image 4) to the grey electrical boxes in the very same lot we dug. If you search all waterlines in and around back bay fens, there is one set of stairs. We are still very confident the casque is in the area, so in that sense you are correct, an inch makes all of the difference. Happy hunting.

Dane said

at 11:30 pm on Nov 28, 2016

Soil probes are perfect, thanks a lot for the idea. We were getting a lot of false reads from small roots and rocks. The probe would probably smash through the roots or push the rocks aside. Id be interested to hear your thoughts about this solution. In my opinion the proximity to the victory gardens, 4 shape on the sidewalk, grey squares in front of the image, and the circles within it make it a prime candidate.

Odeyin said

at 6:55 pm on Nov 30, 2016

So others have suggested and seems to work all right is a flexible drill bit that is 48" long. You can get one at any hardware store (harbor freight) for about $6.00. attach it to a cordless drill and it will drive right into the ground fairly easily. Just uses the battery rather quickly. Personally I would section off 1 yard squared areas and move inline every few inches. Making a matrix.

Julian said

at 2:27 am on Dec 1, 2016

I have one of these at home. This is a great tool for getting deep into the ground, but it does drain battery quickly. It is also a bit dangerous to use if you aren't sure what you are drilling into. I drilled right through some buried PVC pipe at my house and had to dig up my yard to fix it. I use this drill bit to drill deep holes in tree stumps so that they rot quicker. Granted there probably aren't any wires or PVC pipe in that area, but you can't rule it out. Worst case scenario is you use a long auger type drill bit and you drill right into buried cable. It is extremely easy to drill into the earth with the right bit, so be careful where you are drilling!

Oregonian said

at 3:08 pm on Dec 1, 2016

I'm not sure there's a lot of value to using a tool that wouldn't give you any signal if you hit what you're hoping to find. As Julian points out, a drill bit can pass right through a PVC pipe. The plastic box surrounding the casque is sure to be far, far thinner and weaker than a PVC irrigation pipe, and the casque is only made of clay. A drill bit could go through all of that without much trouble at all and just send up a stream of dust.

Plus, of course, after 35 years the box is sure to be cracked and full of soil, so there wouldn't even be a noticeable air pocket as the drill passed through the top. It just doesn't seem like there would be any clear evidence that you've found the right spot.

Odeyin said

at 11:17 am on Dec 2, 2016

Definitely go slow with this method. I have experimented with buried CD jewel cases and you definitely notice a difference and know if you hit it.

Dane said

at 1:18 pm on Dec 2, 2016

How sure are we that someone has dug between the two circles? The ground looked very undisturbed do we have any pictures of a legitimate dig attempt there?

Oregonian said

at 2:52 pm on Dec 2, 2016

There have been a few different attempts over the years.

In December of 2013, there was a Q4T user named Whitey9457 who said he was in Boston and unemployed and willing to dig. People got very excited and explained to him that the most likely spot was the "nook" between the two circles (on the west side) where one could face the water with one's back to the stairs. He visited the site and reported that there was a slight depression in the ground where the casque should be. He guessed that either someone had dug there once, and failed to put all the soil back, or it was where a plexiglass box had caved in underground. But the ground at that time was too frozen to dig. Apparently he couldn't even scratch the surface.

A year later, in December of 2014, a user named JimmyJames tried a dig in the same spot. He reported finding topsoil mixed with a lot of trash: “I pulled out about 20 liquor and beer bottles, a rusted tin can, and 2 AOL installation CDs. Based on the AOL CDs, someone must have dug there in the 90's when the ground was littered with trash (still is a bit) and when they back-filled they filled in a ton of trash too. I started to widen out the hole in every direction and found the edge of the trash fill and still not cask. I was contemplating what to do next when the Boston Police showed up!"

His note continued: "Everyone was really cool about the whole thing. The park is State property so the state police were called in at the same time as BPD. I had to hang out with BPD for a half hour for the State police to show up. The Boston cops were hoping the state cops would like me keep digging. State department of parks and rec showed up and told me to fill in the hole. The parks and rec guy gave me a phone number to call to try and get permission to dig, but said he's doubtful that they would give it to me. He said my best bet is to try again under the cover of darkness!"

Oregonian said

at 3:14 pm on Dec 2, 2016

You can see photos from the 2013 exploration here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjNUTSu8

Dane said

at 11:30 am on Jan 13, 2017


for the latitude clue I flipped the image found either a 70 or a 71 to go with the 42 on the wrist

Guardian said

at 3:32 am on Jun 5, 2017

I think "camble" is actually "castle".

Jeff C. said

at 8:28 pm on Jan 12, 2019

It looks like it might say, “THE CANDLE”

Jess said

at 10:44 pm on Feb 17, 2018

To be honest I’m not sure I can make out anything readable from the sleeves... I can convince myself I see my own name if I look hard enough!

Weeping Angel said

at 10:32 am on Mar 14, 2018

It looks like the blue marks on her right elbow form a backwards 70 and 71. The right side of the zero has a darker shaded spot that looks like a 1. I think this is the longitude for Boston.

EliseB909 said

at 2:56 pm on Mar 16, 2018

If anyone is interested, I took some photos of the area today, theres been some recent digging. Ill only be in Boston for a bit, so if you want photos of something lmk and ill see if I can do it! I got photos of the 2 circles, as well as the Leif Erikson statue, which I think might be important.
Here's the link: https://imgur.com/a/qNW1X

Bill L said

at 3:14 pm on Mar 17, 2018

Field house built in 1923 and rehabbed in 1993 https://imgur.com/gallery/4uiAk. Also you can see the top of the Church of Christ Science from the same park https://imgur.com/gallery/0t3mg.

Odeyin said

at 11:59 pm on Mar 19, 2018

That is a nice find... The location I presume is here: 165 Park Dr


Odeyin said

at 12:06 am on Mar 20, 2018

With Simmons college as the spire in the background. Fenway


Bill L said

at 5:50 pm on Jun 10, 2018

Yes, that is the location, and sorry for the delayed response. I never saw there was a reply.

andrewwilliammartin@... said

at 5:33 pm on May 3, 2018

Here's my interpretation of the patterns of cracks: https://ibb.co/cocYZS

I think it's a music note and pointing to the conservatory - but it's just saying it's in the Back Bay Fens.

Oregonian said

at 11:57 am on Mar 25, 2020

Thank you for putting your comment on the appropriate page for the Boston casque! (Doesn't always happen.)

I don't really want to get into the weeds of the Boston claim, but here's a quick synopsis of my position. I know that there are many people who truly believe that the Boston casque has been found. I have no intention of arguing with them or disparaging their beliefs or trying to change their minds. But I have not yet seen any evidence whatsoever to suggest that the claim is valid. Certainly there have not been casque photographs or detailed solutions that are comparable to what was presented to verify the Chicago and Cleveland finds.

Expedition Unknown is an entertainment show. It is not a documentary. The producers would be the first to admit that a lot of what they show consists of staged reenactments. They do shows on entertaining topics like ghosts, curses, extra-terrestrial visitors, and spirits from the afterlife. Hopefully viewers watch it all with a sense of humor and more than a hefty dose of skepticism. The wiki has a different role and it tries to be more strictly fact-based. So what the wiki presents will not always be identical to what is reported by other sources. Hopefully readers can adjust to the different approaches and find the information that meets their needs.

Robert said

at 1:38 pm on Mar 25, 2020

I think you're confusing 2 shows (now 3) both hosted by Josh Gates. Expedition Unknown deals with more known or generally accepted legends - Nazi Gold, pirates, Vikings, DB Cooper, etc. Occasionally it will delve off into less mainstream like Atlantis, but does a fairly decent job of presenting both sides with a bit of skepticism. Expedition Truth deals with ghosts, UFOs, etc. as does the new 'Expedition X'. There was a UFO related EU that he did 'Expedition Unknown: The Hunt for ExtraTerrestrial' which was OK, but personally think should have been under the Exp Truth name instead.

That being said, the family has turned the jewel over to the Krupat family. There were a few "aha" clue moments during the show. Add in the fact that Palencar agreed to go on the show and even pointed out the home plate on the sleeve and baseball diamond in the hair is pretty convincing.

Charlie said

at 7:23 am on Mar 26, 2020

You’re a little confused as well. Destination Truth was Josh’s show on SciFi for a few years, but that show ended when he moved to Discovery and created Expedition Unknown. Destination Truth has no new episodes even if Discovery managed to buy the rights of that series from SciFi. But he recently collaborated with a paranormal investigator team to create Expedition X, which he doesn’t host, only narrates and produces. He only hosts EU now.

mrnad said

at 2:20 pm on Mar 25, 2020

I'll also add that I have a letter from the publisher (related to the Milwaukee casque) that does state the Boston casque has been found. That implies to me the publisher saw what they needed to as proof that the casque was recovered.

I think the Cleveland page has a couple alternative interpretations of the clues. Maybe do something similar for Boston?

Oregonian said

at 5:07 pm on Mar 25, 2020

There's already a page on this wiki devoted entirely to the claim of a Boston find: http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/page/136591497/Boston%20Claim%202019

I set it up five months ago and put a link to it on the front page, but so far I'm the only person who has edited it. If you (or any other wiki members) have additional evidence that isn't listed there, please feel more than welcome to make additions.

John Murray said

at 12:26 pm on Mar 25, 2020

Hi Oregonian,
have you seen the link I posted?
It shows pictures of the casque although in pieces because it was somewhat broken during a park renovation.
The casque can be seen and the key as well.
Finally the Byron Preiss family have awarded the jewel for this find which confirms that Boston has been solved.
If you watched the show the winner clearly explained how he came about finding the casque and explained his solution.
I really think there is no longer any dispute about Boston being solved.

Oregonian said

at 1:02 pm on Mar 25, 2020

Again, I have no intention of arguing with anyone about it or trying to change anyone's mind. But, yes, I have seen the photos, shows, newspaper articles, etc. Clear away the chaff and there's not really much there (except for a TV show that is willing to do whatever it takes to get viewers). The overwhelming evidence is that the casque is still out there, somewhere in the area of the Back Bay Fens, probably close to a view of Fenway Park and the Citgo sign. The "two circles" site remains the most plausible solution (although not by any means the only one).

You don't have permission to comment on this page.