The Secret - A Treasure Hunt

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by charliesgrave, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. charliesgrave

    charliesgrave cosmoline enthusiast Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2016
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    Maybe I'm the only one who gets into weird stuff like this, but my wife gets tired of hearing about it so I thought I would see if anyone else likes puzzles and digging up buried treasure.

    So, back in the 80's there was this sci-fi/fantasy author named Bryon Preiss. He published a book called "The Secret". It's a collection of verse and paintings he commissioned by renowned fantasy author John Jude Palancar.
    Each painting corresponds to a number of the verses and when combined are supposed to give a location for a buried "casque" with a key in it. The paintings have hidden images that point to the location of the treasure, while the verses are used to find the actual dig spot.
    Each of these casques are made of ceramic material to prevent simply using a metal detector to find them, but when found can be used to redeem a jewel which corresponds to the painting.

    To this day, only two of the caques have been found. One in Chicago in 1982, and one in Cleveland in 2004.
    That's fine and good, but what really got me interested is that one is apparently buried on Roanoke island, near Fort Raleigh.

    Here's the image for Roanoke:

    It's one of, if not the most complicated of the paintings, and has a ton of stuff going on it it- hidden numbers, a possible rebus puzzle, and shapes and forms that allude to the Elizabethan Gardens, Fort Raleigh, the Lost Colony play, and probably tons of other things no one has picked up on.

    What makes things more complicated is the fact that when the book was published, Roanoke, and even the park were very different from what they look like today. This means that dig clues could have been removed, destroyed, or replaced as the years have worn on. Some people even suspect that the treasure might have been buried in an area which has since eroded into the sea. I personally don't believe this because the location of the previously discovered treasure leads me to believe it was buried somewhere the author knew would be safe through the years, and on a beach is not such a place.

    Here are the dig instructions:

    Pass two friends of octave, in December ride the man of oz to the land near the window
    There's a road that leads to dark forest
    Where white is in color with two maps after circle and square in July and August
    A path beckons to mica and driftwood
    Under that which may be last touched or first seen standing
    Look north at the wing And dig
    To achieve by dauntless and inconquerable determination
    Your goal.

    There's some info about what these verses may mean here: 11

    But no one knows for sure the location. It definitely seems to be on Roanoke, within view of the Wright Brothers memorial, but whether it's in the Elizabethan gardens or somewhere near the theater, no one is sure. I would wager it's not in the gardens, as this is a place where even the author would have had trouble digging a hole in 1981. He also said before he died that he didn't bury any of the casques in a flower bed or in soil that was likely to be turned often.

    For anyone whose interested, the Wiki above has some info, but there's also a podcast by some of the long term hunters. They even interview the folks who found the first two treasures.

    What's unfortunate is that Bryon Preiss never lived to see any of the other treasures found, and can't be asked for clues or help, as he died in a car crash in 2005. Despite this, the hunt is still on though, and the jewels can still be redeemed.

    Apparently, Expedition Unknown recently did an episode about the treasure with a couple guys who found one of the casques, which might have renewed some interest in the hunt.

    As for me, I just enjoy digging into them and the history behind Roanoke. I don't hold any delusions of ever being able to find a casque myself, but I might hit up Roanoke for my next vacation just for the fun of walking around exploring with the image and verses, trying to determine what Preiss was up to when he buried the treasure key there 37 years ago.
    Millie likes this.
  2. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2016
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    Apex / W. Jefferson NC
    I caught the end of that Expedition Unknown episode last night. Thanks for filling in the holes. Cool story.
  3. beamernc

    beamernc LTC - Liberal Tear Collector Charter Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2016
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    NC - Not Canada
    I saw that episode a couple of weeks ago. It was very interesting.