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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Image 12
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Image 12

This version was saved 1 year, 9 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Limey
on October 23, 2022 at 7:07:42 am

General notes on Image 12

  • This is the image for November and the immigration reference is to Russia.
  • This image is thought to be linked to Verse 10 and a casque in the New York City area.
  • Please note: This image contains several visual references to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.  Both sites are important historical landmarks where treasure hunting is completely prohibited.  There is no chance that the New York casque is buried at either of these sites, and attempting a dig on either island would very likely result in serious criminal charges.  Please don't even attempt it.  The visual references to these two islands in Image 12 strongly suggest that one should see the islands on the way to an ultimate destination in a less sensitive spot somewhere on the perimeter of the New York harbor.



Image 12


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.

  • A4 - The bird's right wing appears to form a "3" at the uppermost tip.
  • B5 - In the gap between the ends of the bird's wings, where we should see the edge of the window, we only see the wall.
  • C3, C6, & C7 - The colored dot patterns are similar to those used in the Ishihara test for color blindness.
  • C6 - The head of the bird is similar to at least two monuments in the New York area (see below).
  • D3 - The doorway could represent Ellis Island, the doorway to America.
  • D4 - The dark rectangle could be the World Trade Center (completed in 1973 and destroyed in 2001) or it could be the berth where ships docked at Ellis Island.
  • D5 - The building shown as an outline has the onion domes that are commonly (but not exclusively) found on Russian Orthodox churches.  They could also be a match for the spires on the main building at Ellis Island (see below).
  • D6 - The face is a good match for the face on the Statue of Liberty (see below).
  • D7 - The time on the clock is 11:00, indicating the month of November.
  • E6 - There are patches of slightly browner skin above the neckline on the dress.  The shape might be significant (although it would be very small in the printed book).
  • F4 - The flower is a chrysanthemum, the birth flower for November.
  • F,G6 - The sash on the woman's dress is a stylized representation of Manhattan, flipped from top to bottom (see below).
  • J5, K6, J7 & K7 - The small shapes below the dress could represent the islands in New York Harbor: Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and Governors Island.  There isn't an obvious match for the fourth shape.
  • J5-7 & K6-7 The three droplets and one jewel may represent the other four boroughs of NYC with Brooklyn being the jewel (2nd largest of the four and 2nd largest borough).
  • J6 - The distinctive shape formed by the bottom of the dress is often interpreted as a match for Manhattan (because of its position, hanging down from above) but it is actually a stronger match for a rotated outline of Staten Island (see below).
  • K6 - The jewel is a topaz, the birth stone for November.
  • L3 - There appears to be a lion or some other animal in the waves (see below).
  • M3 to M8 - A breaking wave forms a ridge of water.  If the wave is in a bay, it could be considered a "bay ridge," possibly in reference to that neighborhood in Brooklyn.
  • O6 - There appears to be a "74" in the water (see below).



The Image 1 - Image 12 Connection:

  • Image 1, the first painting in The Secret, is paired in several ways with this final painting, Image 12. Most obviously, these two images are the only paintings in The Secret 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 below).  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. 



Other Notes: 

  • By combining the longitude (74) and the visual references to the Statue of Liberty, we can direct this search to the New York metropolitan area.  The images of breaking waves and islands in a sea of blue suggest that we should focus on the area around New York Bay.  There are at least three strong references to Ellis Island in the picture, but Ellis is north of Liberty Island and would not allow visitors to "gaze north to the isle of B."  If "isle of B." is Liberty Island, we should be somewhere south of that in New York Bay.  A line heading directly south of Liberty Island would pass under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and head out to sea without ever hitting land, but presumably "north" is meant more as a general direction.  The combination of evidence suggests that we should be looking for a place near the waterfront, in either Brooklyn or Staten Island, where one could have a view northwards to the Statue of Liberty.
  • For historic aerial views of New York City, try using NYCityMap. For historical photos of New York City, try using the Photo Gallery of the NYC Department of Records.  ("The online gallery now totals more than 900,000--the largest collection of historical images of New York City in the world.")



The Fair Folk Link

Page 10 of The Secret shows a map of the origins of the Fair Folk described in the book.


The immigration reference for Image 12 is Russia, Tartary, Poland Hungary. The map lists the species of Fair Folk that hail from that region as: Vazily, Lesy, Poleviki, Domivye, Vily, Ruskalki.  If the fairy from each painting is a depiction of one of the Fair Folk from the same country of origin as the immigration reference, the creature pictured in Image 12 is likely a Rusalka (singular of Rusalki).


It is possible this information factors into the solution.


Description  Features & Characteristics 

Ivan Kramskoi, The Mermaids, 1871 (Aka Drowned Maidens, Russian: Rusalka)

A Rusalka is a water nymph from Russia.


A female spirit that came to be associated with a woman who had suffered a tragic fate by committing suicide or especially by being drowned by murder or suicide. 

A female water spirit to be feared. 


Her purpose is to lure young men to their deaths, often via drowning. Seduced by her looks or voice.


Similar to a Siren of the Greek tradition. 




The woman depicted in Image 12 hovering above the water may be a Rusalka.

She is associated with water in the painting, as is a Rusalka.


Though a Rusalka is associated with rivers or lakes in folklore, the water reference in Image 12 is thought by many to be linked to NY Harbor.


The long and flowing white robe the figure in Image 12 is wearing looks very similar to the garments shown in the painting above. Perhaps the artist was familiar with this work. 





Image Matches

  The face is a very strong match for the Statue of Liberty.  Note the turn of the head, the parted hair, the broad forehead that shades the eyes, the long straight nose, and the pursed lips with the slight frown.


Statue of Liberty image by calestyo on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License




  Many searchers automatically assume that the bird in the image is a reference to the well-known and iconic sculptures on the Chrysler Building, but it doesn't have the same overbite and the beak is much longer relative to the head.

  The bird is actually a much better match to the stone birds on top of the Ferry Building at Ellis Island.  Note:

  • the longer beak,
  • the thinner "eyebrow" over the eye,
  • the lack of an overbite,
  • the open mouth,
  • the narrow gap where the points of the upper and lower beaks almost touch, and
  • the small tongue lifted into the gap between the beaks.


This is one of the strongest visual matches in all of The Secret.

  The blue spires shown in profile are a reasonable match for the domes at the four corners of the main building at Ellis Island.
Ellis Island by Anita363, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by Anita363
The arched panels at the top of the picture could be a representation of the windows in the buildings at Ellis Island.  Several of the Ellis windows are arched, although none of them are a perfect match for the shapes in the picture.
New York Pictures - Part 1 till December by Jeff Summers, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by Jeff Summers
Ellis Island window by dlm7155, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by dlm7155
Ellis Island Immigration Station Façade by AndrewHavis, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by AndrewHavis
  The overall narrow, arched shape of Image 12 resembles the opening inside each tower of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.  (This is a Google maps image from Fort Hamilton Triangle.)
  The gray rectangle at the top is a very strong match for the channel where ships once docked at Ellis Island.  The channel currently even has the same red outline around it, although it isn't yet known whether that feature is a new addition or was present in 1980.

  The unusual sleeves on the woman's dress form a diamond shape around her central torso.  With the circle formed by the head and neckline, and with the hands extended out of the sleeves on each side, the woman appears to be forming the shape of an inverted baseball diamond.


(Simplified baseball diagram taken from Wikimedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)


  There appears to be the face of a lion or some other animal hidden in the wrinkles of the woman's dress. 


  The image on the left shows the dress as it appears in the original, with only half the "face" showing. 


  The image in the middle shows the same dress segment with a reflection added down the middle of the "face" so both halves are shown.


  The image on the far right shows a stone carving of a lion on the Richmond County Supreme Court in St. George, Staten Island.  The wall with the carving faces the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry.


  The lower part of the dress is often assumed to be a representation of the southern tip of Manhattan, but it is actually a closer match to the northern tip of Staten Island rotated 180 degrees. 


  Start at the upper left corner of the dress and the Staten Island image and imagine going along it as a driver going along a racecourse: long straight, sharp left turn, short straight, broad right turn, straight, broad U-turn at the lowest point, shallow bulge to the right and back, another shallow bulge to the right followed by a left turn and a long straightaway.  The angles and lengths are slightly distorted, but all the curves are in the correct order, scale, and orientation to represent Staten Island.


  There is a representation of Manhattan in the image and it's in the long, narrow sash worn by the woman.  The sash has to be flipped from top-to-bottom to see the comparison.


  In the usual (maddening) way of The Secret, this "Sash-hattan" captures all the major curves of the outline but distorts them just enough so that the shape is not immediately recognizable.

  The crashing waves at the lower left appear to form a clawed, upright animal facing sideways, similar to the design of the lion in the Royal Standard of Scotland.  This might connect to the possible reference to Sir Walter Scott in Verse 10.


  The lower image at right is a picture from a building at 450 95th Street in Brooklyn, near Fort Hamilton Triangle.  The building is called "Lyon Court" and has a blue line running just below the roofline with a repeated image on it.

  The other bit of crashing foam, to the right of the lion, is almost certainly another representation of something important.  One interpretation is that it shows a plumed knight on a rearing white horse.  If so, the figure would very likely be Saint George, who rode on a white horse to slay a dragon.  The representation of St. George in the final painting of the book would be a symbolic counterpoint to the representation of a dragon in Image 1.


  The painting at far right is St. George and the Dragon by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted sometime around 1504 and is now housed in the Louvre in Paris.


  The Staten Island Ferry docks in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island.


  The patterns in the waves may show the forked trunk of a young tree, turned sideways.  The swirling patterns of dark and light areas would be a good match for a sycamore.  



Latitude / Longitude Hints

  There appears to be a "74" in the waves below the woman's dress.  The line for 74 degrees west (longitude) runs through lower Manhatten and Brooklyn.  The Statue of Liberty is only slightly further west at 74.04 degrees.
  The latitude of New York City ranges from 40.5 to 40.9 degrees north, but there do not appear to be any hints about latitude in the image.  There is a very clear "3" at the tip of the bird's wing, but that number by itself would make no sense as either a latitude or longitude.

Some people have suggested that the shape above the "74" could be a number of some kind, but it it more likely to be a representation of the Eye of Horus, similar to ones seen in some of the other images.




Questions, questions, questions...

  • Does the dock area at Ellis Island actually have that red outline on all three sides?
  • Did the dock area have the same red outline in 1980?
  • Could the colored dots actually represent a pattern that was present on the floor or ceiling of the old Whitehall Ferry Terminal before it burned down in 1991?



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