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Season 04, Episode 40

Let’s Talk Amphitheaters!

Join George, Bradley, Brett and Stephen Poff as they talk about the long lost amphitheater gardens in St Augustine and why we think Byron’s casque may not be buried in the Fountain of Youth after all.

Join George, Bradley, Brett and Stephen Poff as they talk about the long lost amphitheater gardens in St Augustine and why we think the casque may not be buried in the Fountain of Youth after all.

Brett Zingler
the last rule and it’s a weird one is that anytime you address Bradley, you have to call them Sire. Yeah, it’s weird. We have to do it to get don’t feel, you know, like we’re paying. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. We do it anyway. You know, that’s just how it is weird.

Stephen Poff
Okay, I’m just gonna take some lipstick and mark that over his picture.

Brett Zingler
Don’t forget Don’t forget that.

Bradley Hodges
You don’t have to use it when you’re speaking about me and third person though. That’s

Stephen Poff
and how do I speak about you and third person I?

Brett Zingler
Well, he’ll do it. He does it a while so he you just follow his lead. Right? Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha.

George Ward
Okay, are we ready? Yes. I don’t have anything planned. A Bradley’s got his lipstick going on.

Bradley Hodges
I was like, hey, you know when he told me we’re gonna need lips. Yeah.

Brett Zingler
What is this?

Bradley Hodges
It’s a melon medley. Who it’s it’s pretty tasty.

George Ward
That’s does it taste like always everything that you get with Matt that’s that’s melon. I always expect to taste like old watermelon bubble. Yum. Kind of my favorite

Bradley Hodges
kind of Yeah, it’s ballistic. So it’s actually good quality stuff. No. Yeah. actually works.

George Ward
All right. Welcome to the secret podcast. We’re here today. It’s me, George. Brett. Bradley. The sire apparently. And Steven pop. Steven puff is friend of mine, who’s he’s been on the St. Augustine several times. We worked on New Orleans a little bit together. We’re gonna talk about some special thoughts and some ideas that we’ve had about St. Augustine, because we’ve been, you know, I’m pretty in depth into this one.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, I’ve got a lot of thoughts.

George Ward
Yeah. Steven, can you tell us really quickly how you got into the hunt?

Stephen Poff
Actually, my friend Travis Schuler who I’m sure you guys know, you know, you’ve probably seen him in the in the Facebook groups plenty but he works on New Orleans and he was doing a dig over there and invited me to dig and had a ton of fun and at that point, I was hooked I think about a couple of weeks later I was in St. Augustine just had a spur the moment decided I knew where it was and and came down and obviously I don’t have a castle I didn’t know where it was. Oh,

Brett Zingler
wait yet so we thought this was a cask revealing guys. This is over right now. All right.

Sorry. Next. No, no stay stay. So cool. So and by the way, one when was When did when were you in St. Augustine. Oh shoot.

Stephen Poff
That would have been years ago. Right. I

feel like it was about three years ago. It was shortly it was probably within the first year of the the expedition unknown. The first time it came out. It was about what it was within that year.

George Ward
No, Travis is a great dude too. I really hope he gets some headway in New Orleans for his sanity.

Stephen Poff
He’s super knowledgeable and he is has a wealth of knowledge on a few laptops. Right now.

George Ward
He he posted pictures of like the leg eater lamp but there were candelabras and it looked like they were on his like fireplace.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, I think that might be the case. He just got a new house

George Ward
I think but I think he bought like leggy or for Montreal candelabras like they were super awesome looking candles so

Stephen Poff
check that out yeah didn’t send that to me at all those are awesome.

Bradley Hodges
So I’m quite important question and I can tell by your background that Steven you’re going to be a subject matter expert is it at or at at

Stephen Poff
I mean, I always call it an ad at but I think technically is probably at 80 You know, but it’s kind of like the you know the ATSC as you call them chicken walkers? I don’t think that they have chickens and you know on indoor but there’s definitely chicken walkers on indoor.

Bradley Hodges
There you go. That’s all I wanted to know guys. The rest is up to you.

George Ward
Oh, fun, fun. This is how the podcast works. It’s just a it’s the bullshit conversation that we added together to sound like we

Brett Zingler
know what we’re talking about. This is this is going to come out sounding like super.

George Ward
Let’s talk St. Augustine out I’m all sorry. Go ahead. Yeah. Let’s talk St. Augustine all the times all the times you’ve been to St. Augustine with me. I don’t think we’ve I don’t think we’ve been to the fountain of youth, right? You’ve never really been a fountain of youth guy.

Stephen Poff
Well, I mean, well, funny enough. I go every time that I’ve been up here. Yeah. Well, the first time I went, I didn’t go. Technically, I didn’t go to, to found a use, but it was all around it. I definitely did. You know, go to magnolia. I, obviously, you know, the first thing you want to do is go to Water Street, right? And look across the street at you know, fountain view. So I did that. But yeah, I’ve never been really no one else is found it there. And it’s been dug up. Plenty that I had other thoughts, and I wanted to explore those. So yeah, every time I’ve been if I’ve generally, you know, gone to the island.

George Ward
Yeah. And I think we kind of, I don’t think either of us, when we realized that we were both looking in basically the same place. I don’t think either of us realize that we were both basically in the same place. Yeah, right. Yeah. Which, which was fun, because like I I was all alone in my search for the longest time in this one little place. Yeah. And then suddenly, oh, somebody else’s here. Nice.

Stephen Poff
Well, I was a little scared.

I think torium

Yeah. Vapor theater, the theater. I mean, yeah, yeah. Okay. And I think that that was the thing that you actually I was on my way down, and had messaged you, and you kind of gave me a hint that you were in that area. It’s like, oh, man, dammit.

George Ward
In there for like, I’ve been digging there for like a year. It’s crazy. It’s a weird place. Because there’s not much verse stuff there. Right? There’s just not a whole lot. All of the good verse stuff is at the fountain of youth. But the image stuff that’s there is crazy. There’s nothing there’s nothing at the fountain of youth that matches everything that matches. Isn’t that one little part? Yeah, on the island. So how initially? How did you? How did you interpret the whole of the St. Augustine puzzle to get you to that spot? Well,

Stephen Poff
I mean, oddly enough, I mean, even though you’re saying that it doesn’t match up as much with the verse. Like, the thing that I kept coming back around to was the whole silver cell. Limestone, shale and limestone, because the more I kept thinking about that, that section, I kept going, like, what are these things have in common? Like, I know that everybody kind of talks about cookina, right, but like the silver, so we’re solid part, right? And I thought, Oh, well, like all of those things are things you get out of the ground. All of those things are things that you were quarry out, right, where there’s really only one, one place where that takes place? Well, one is that the amphitheater is the old quarry, right? And the the lake No, Tina, I don’t know if anybody knows that. That’s what’s called, but it’s called like, no, Tina, that’s at the amphitheater is, is the old quarry, and then the actual quarry that you can kind of enter in from, like, right there at the entrance of the State Park. Which by the way, has a green picket fence and above it, you have to enter through bending branches to get to the quarry. That was where I first I was like, Okay, well, this is the quarry. These are all the things that go along. And at that point, I realized, as I started going in there, that there’s a trail that leads directly, like if you just go into the quarry, and you just keep walking. There’s a trail that goes and it leads directly into the amphitheater and directly into that garden, in the backstage, the amphitheater. And then that’s where I started going, like, Oh, my God, like once I got in there. I was like, there’s a whole boatload of things in here that that actually do kind of make sense.

George Ward
So let’s, let’s give people a little bit of an idea of what we’re talking about. Because this is, this is an area not many people. Even really, if you live in St. Augustine, you don’t really know about it unless you you’re old. If you’re old, you know about the amphitheater, you know about cookina Gardens, but paths like 1986, or whatever, you don’t know anything about this area. So the state of Florida used to have a state play, and it was called The Crossing the sword that was written I think, like 1965 ish. It was written by Paul Green. It’s the same guy that did the last colony in Roanoke. And St. Augustine held this play in the same way that the last colonies held in Roanoke. They they built a large amphitheater with a park around it, and they did this play every day during the summer. When the same way it’s done. We’re gonna go back to this a lot and the same way it’s done in Roanoke. then, you know later, like interest in the in the place or sort of started to wane. And I think in the 90s like the early 90s I’m sure Stephen knows exactly when this was. It was basically shut down and turned over to it was like, the entire the entire park was demolished. The amphitheater was demolished it was, it was rebuilt, it was essentially sold over to the city. And now they use it for concerts. But back in back in the 80s, it was a major tourist attraction. It was where you go to see the state play the crossing the sword and the crossing the sword is about sort of the the Ponce de Leon coming over isn’t a Menendez, I’m pretty sure it’s about Menendez and his interactions with the with the Timucuan Indians. Yeah, so we see a lot of parallels between this, this, this park this location, and Fort Raleigh in in Roanoke has a whole lot of parallels. But like I said, Now, since since it was demolished, The gardens were no longer kept up there. They’re essentially they’re overgrown. They’re just basically a forest. If you didn’t, there’s pads and things in the back. But if you didn’t know they were there, you would never be able to find them. And Stevens right, if you start at the Anastasia State Park, there’s a trail that leads right to the entrance of them. So it’s a it’s a super interesting place.

Stephen Poff
It is. And then if you start, you know, there’s things, you know, look, it could be confirmation bias, because I think there’s plenty with all of this is, you know, you can start going like, oh, well, this would be this, and this would be that. But I mean, I think that that’s how a lot of you know, the three casket had been found, like, you know, you could confirmation by yourself all into it until you get to the actual place. And you go, Oh, no, this does actually make sense. This could be that this could be that. But you know, there are certain lines, like, first of all, one of the things that is interesting, Laura Olson, who is now she’s also looking for the cast there in Florida, but she was actually part of the play. And she I reached out to her. Early on, it was like I’d kind of found her through one of the Facebook groups for crossing sword. And she told me that that play, you know, started at dusk, that was like part of the deal, right? And, and I was like, Oh, well, there’s so much of this verse that’s about light and dark night and day, right? And so I started thinking about, like, whenever you take that trail, the trail actually leads directly to backstage, it leads right there to where you would have seen stars moving by day, right, because they’re getting ready for the play. Right. And in that same area, when it turned night, they would be on stage, but the thing that you would see moving back and forth. Because of the play was the ship the sales, they had a ship. And in fact, I have a picture of it here. There’s a ship.

George Ward
It was built on railroad tracks behind the stage.

Stephen Poff
Yeah. And they would they would they would roll it they would fourth

George Ward
last colony. Yeah. Exactly. Like last colony,

Stephen Poff
right. So there’s your sail. So not only would you see the, you would see the stars of the play by day, but you would also see this right here, this, this boat that they would just basically keep pushing back and forth, you know, behind the stage. People didn’t ride on it from my understanding lorises that nobody got on it or anything. They just basically pushed it back and forth. It was just the prob. But yeah, so you know, once you get things like that, and you’re like, Oh, well, that whole stars by day sales by night thing makes a whole lot more sense. You know? Yeah, it could very possibly be it fountain of youth, because that makes a whole lot of sense as well. But if it’s not at fountain youth it’s in it’s at the amphitheater, then this also works to me really well, we’re.

George Ward
So the bad thing about the amphitheater now is once it started getting a little rundown, there was a lot of theft. Some of the signs were stolen, the whole place was ripped up. We know that there were walking pads starting at the Anastasia State Park, we know that there were walking pads and along the way, there were signs that explained what you were seeing. Most of those are gone now. In fact, most of the things that we’re going to refer to that are that, you know, could have been represented in the verse, they’re not there anymore. I know as soon as you as soon as you start walking down the trail, there’s a sign that explains to you what the with the different trees are that you’re seeing, and they they specifically call out the tall tree, which they use a thing it’s a redwood, some sort of red wood tree that they specifically call out as a tall tree. There’s a lot of little things in this park. And there’s just not here anymore and no one can find them we’ve we’ve talked to, or at least I know I have Steven, you’ve probably talked to groundskeepers to where they found a couple of signs but can’t find all of them can’t find most of them.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, it’s as far as the the labels on the trees and things like that. I don’t have any documentation on that. I do have documentation on some other things. Like, for instance, when you when you go into the park there is a swimming pool this up very quick.

So there’s,

there’s a monument that’s out there and say, well, we’ll just go to the VR player. Well, first of all, there’s this right. Yeah, we’ll get to that in a minute. Hold on. Just second thing

Brett Zingler
on the left. Is there that blue?

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, exactly. I mean, not be of the paint. Why

Brett Zingler
are you guys doing this right now? You guys should be out there digging

Bradley Hodges
this up, George. The only things I really know of this area are things that you have told me that you found. Am I cool? Just to talk about whatever you’ve told me or?

George Ward
I think so. I don’t think I’ve told you anything. Of Stephens. I don’t think there’s anything I’m Stevens. He hasn’t put online.

Stephen Poff
Reveal in there. Why don’t

George Ward
any any of my stuff you can talk about I’m fine with it. I

Stephen Poff
don’t care. Okay. So when you walk in there, so there’s essentially the trail to the garden, when you first walk up the steps. There’s like this monument, it’s right here. And it used to have a plaque on it. And that when said, Hold on, I’ve got my notes here. It said, this garden dedicated to the public 1967 chair, Cherokee Garden Club. So not that that’s super important, but it is one of those things like, like George said, that they, you know, have ripped off there. That’s, that’s not there anymore. Also, slightly behind that there’s a magnolia tree. And it was. Let’s see, I do have a picture of these two ladies who were dedicating so they were at the same time that they were dedicating that monument was there, they were also dedicating this they put it up at this tree and it was basically to this lady named Joyce, who had been a part of building the the trails and everything through there. And then when she had gotten sick and wasn’t able to do it anymore, so they kind of dedicated that to her. But yeah, so there was things like that, like George was pointing out that, you know, have since been vandalized, and it’s not there anymore.

George Ward
And I think it’s important for listeners or viewers to keep in your head like when we say a garden, you’re that this place was a garden you’re thinking like it’s just a you know, like a big flower bed when it was absolutely not that this is probably 2030 acres, maybe with widening concrete paths, huge ponds, like concrete ponds with stones built up for walls, huge waterfalls, water wheels, invasive plants that the state’s now trying to remove like it was a legit, it was a spectacle. Yeah. Then and the the ladies, the gardening club took a great deal of pride in it. It’s not a normal. It’s I mean, it’s it’s more impressive than the little the beef and gardens to me.

Brett Zingler
So

Stephen Poff
that yeah, it was it was beautiful.

Brett Zingler
I’m glad you mentioned that, because that’s actually what I was going to ask Would this be a place where more more than just known to locals. People would come down and maybe visited if they were in the area. They knew about it. People knew about the play

George Ward
this on the ad on the 70s in the 60s 70s and 80s. This was on the same level as the fort in regards to tourism. I mean, it was advertised everywhere it was on all of our brochures it was as soon as you would, as soon as you would drive on the island. There’s a huge, a huge wooden painted sign like a very impressive sign that tells you how to get to the amphitheater. Then when you would pull into the amphitheater, the entire front facade, the road facing facade of it was built up like a giant wooden fort. It was it was huge. So yeah, it’s not something that that would be hidden from tourists at all. It was it was very visible and like I said, kind of on the same level as the fort if you were going to St. Augustine In

Brett Zingler
your case, and so do you think that maybe maybe Byron was looking at the fountain of youth or at least that area, and then goes, Oh, rather than fountain of youth? This seems like a great place. And I can bury lots of clues here or find lots of clues with this place, or what would make him choose it over something like fountain of youth,

George Ward
I gotta, I gotta buy a ticket to get into this place. Like, that’s, that would be, that would be the biggest thing to me. I mean, we you, you can’t really argue that that Byron went to the fountain of youth. Even if there wasn’t something buried in St. Augustine, I would still say, if Viron uses the word cask, he went to the fountain of youth, because there’s legit only one place in the world where the word Cask is used for a container. And that’s insight on abuse. If you didn’t go into the fountain of youth, you wouldn’t know that. You would

Stephen Poff
smell that exact same word. Right?

George Ward
It spelled the exact same way. Yeah. I would say like, if you had to choose one over the other, I would say this is not a private place. It’s not an attraction. It’s not somewhere you got to pay to get into. You can pocket or you can go there in the middle of

Brett Zingler
Hollywood, you know? Yeah, yeah. That’s cool. So I was

Stephen Poff
just gonna say that. Yeah, the the amphitheater itself, like, you know, the ticketing area, like you have to pay to get in, but the garden itself is, you know, I mean, even to this day, like, if you go down there on a Saturday, there’s like, you know, people out there with their bikes, there’s people walking their dogs, there’s people. Um, now they’re not frequently in the garden, because I think most people, it’s pretty grown up in there. So they don’t do that. But there. There’s plenty of people using that area in general for recreation.

George Ward
Yeah, locals kind of know that this is the one part tourists don’t know about. So we can go there to be alone. Yeah, we also know like, we don’t want anybody else to know about it, because it’s how we see free concerts. As I’ve been explaining to the amphitheater, you just go hang around or listen, right. But back in the back in the 70s, and 80s, this was laid out the same as Fort fort Raleigh or Fort Hamilton, I sign it wrong for Raleigh. It’s fort Raleigh, right? And

Bradley Hodges
full Raleigh in Roanoke. Yeah, I don’t Yeah, I don’t know where fort Hamilton is.

George Ward
Okay, for some reason, at Fort Hamilton, it’s laid out the same as Fort Raleigh in the in the 60s 70s and 80s. Were in there, there weren’t really any gates, right? You could walk to the stage, if you wanted to. The ticket office was closed, but you could just walk right around it and go to the stage, as far as I know, because the gardens extended into the amphitheater, which is going to become important soon.

Bradley Hodges
So So there are a lot of similarities, obviously, that we’ve talked about so far, between Roanoke and and this puzzle, and we’ve talked about puzzles coming in twos, we’ve talked about a lot of similarities popping up in other puzzles. So you know, there may be a link there that it’s just their sister puzzles somehow and that they’re going to be very, very similar. And if it is backstage, then it lends credence to the idea of the Roanoke puzzle also, being somewhere in the actual theater grounds, especially when it says look north to the wing and dig. We have the wing of the theater, which is, you know, strong idea. My question is, you know, we found some boy, how do we tie that into this? So well,

George Ward
so I can get my sort of stretchy where people are gonna be like, Marilyn, it’s probably not it way. Steven, do you have a way to tie in soloing?

Stephen Poff
I mean, I just imagine the this is about if I were Byron, and I didn’t know that much about it, and I just knew that like, Hey, I went to the fountain of youth, right? And he’s right now and all this stuff that’s there. He’s like, Oh, well, the tribe here was so loyal. Right? Well, that play, you know, crossing sword is all about, you know, Menendez and the mid danzas. And, you know, the, the slaughter in St. Augustine. So if I were Byron, and I wasn’t super well versed on what tribe it was there, I’d be like, oh, so Lloyd, it’s the soy tribe. And this is about the Indians that that’s where I get that but the other thing you know that that I don’t know if anybody else picked up on this, but that, you know, if we’re gonna talk about across sticks that actually John Michaels pointed out was there’s another acrostic at

George Ward
Admiralty, yeah, or at boat if it was John Harvey.

Stephen Poff
What was the John Harpy? Okay. Yeah, that was at the base of the tall tree is actually a an acrostic for at bode well for talking about again with the years pass I mean the with the stars move by day and and sales pass by night. And that being the boat and you know, Yeah, isn’t that boat

George Ward
jump, I mean jumping, jumping right to the boat, you’ve got the two largest palm trees that are in the park are back by the they sort of flank the boat on either side of the boat or two giant towers that are called Moon towers. Like there’s there’s a lot of cool stuff back there, but I think we’re gonna be jumping ahead a little bit.

Bradley Hodges
Here drops keep me in line.

teardrops.

Brett Zingler
How do you guys reconcile the first chapter? It being a very prominent, glad you? Yeah, like it being a very prominent, you know, at the entrance of the fountain of youth? Wouldn’t you think that that would lead you right into the fountain of youth?

George Ward
So you know, there’s a funny, there’s a there’s a funny story, just as a side note to the fountain of youth that I want to tell before Stephen goes into his idea. The first chapter on the Fountain of Youth if you if you ask John Frazier, he’s not sure it was there in the Okay. One said it was named by his father. He said it would have been right around that time. He said it could have been 80. It could have been 82. He’s not exactly sure. Now, having said that, I think I’ve seen photos of it in the 70s where it says that, but we’re not 100% sure anymore, according to John Fraser, who I take his opinion on this as as pretty well. Whether that was there, but

Brett Zingler
Okay, so let’s run under the under the assumption that it that it was there.

George Ward
Yeah, that it was okay. What do you think and Steven?

Stephen Poff
Well, so, you know, my thought, and I haven’t seen this ever mentioned before. And I’m, I’m, I would be surprised there was somebody didn’t, somebody else didn’t notice this as well. So, you know, I literally sort of went, Okay, well, first chapter of what I mean, first chapter of American history. Well, that makes sense. I mean, so the first chapter of American history would be St. Augustine, right. So you could throw that away if you wanted. Or you could get literal. And so I literally went to the first chapter of the secret. And it says, um, man built his cities and his villages and diminish the fair people’s domain where once lived a goblin there was a tavern on where, once swim a river made in a water wheel spun. And that’s like, if I remember correctly, that’s the only part of the first chapter that mentions water at all. And I was like, oh, water wheel. So we’ve got literally a water wheel at essentially the entrance, so I’ve talked to a couple of people, he really wouldn’t notice it now, if you went in there, because it’s incredibly grown up. But I’ve talked to one of the guys who will first of all talk to Laura, whose dad was the he was sort of the caretaker and the creative director there during crossing, sorta and then believe it’s an 85, I’m gonna, I’m gonna forget the guy’s name there. But I walked through him like with an hour and a half and interviewed the guy. And he was telling me about what had been there. Before. And in so if you look right here there is our waterwheel and what he referred to as the duck pond, right there. So I don’t know if you can see it directly in the center there. But there’s a water wheel when you go in there. Now that water wheel, the remnants of are there that wheel itself is not there. But the all the, you know, everything else that sort of holds it in place and collects the water. But the other thing that you you Oh, by the way, too, if we want to talk about Silkin here, the honking there’s there was our geese. Geese there. That were there. Yeah.

Bradley Hodges
Well, you would need spiring is the duck pond.

George Ward
Yeah, apparently need ROM in, in the book, not the Webster’s Dictionary. Byron says that does add a little to add a little bit of support to your first chapter. That wouldn’t be the only time that the book uses something from like in a verse from the front of the book, because everybody in Milwaukee always, you know, questions? What’s a Wonderstone? Well, the book tells you Yeah, in the first chapter of the book, what a Wonderstone is, right? So that’s just another thing that would kind of help support your idea of the first chapter with the waterwheel,

Stephen Poff
right? And again, so one of the things I was gonna say about this right quick is that that so the the caretaker that I spoke to said that basically, there was only one thing that was ever lit in there, and it was this area right here. And it was sort of like it was clear whenever it was he What do you call it? You called it like a diorama. I think it’s what the term he used which not necessarily correct. But when you would come into the amphitheater and you would go park a car on the left, there was this water wheel and the lake and or a little pot and duck pond, and a little fountain and, and it was just very picturesque. This was the part of the garden that was the most visible at night. You know, in during the day, you know, obviously you could see it, but and there was more to the garden. But if you were coming to there at night, the only thing that was really lit up was this water, we’ll

Bradley Hodges
have it have you read crossword? Yes. Where does the chapter or the first act of that take place?

George Ward
On like in that’s a good question. I can’t remember now if it’s in Spain, or if it’s in St. Augustine, but I’m pretty sure it’s in St. Augustine.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, I recall reading it. Laura sent me a version of it. I have not read all of it. We did talk about the first chapter and didn’t see anything notable in there.

George Ward
No, nothing really notable. Gotcha. But the difficult thing about Paul Green plays just like the the last colony is there’s so many versions of it. It’s like they changed it every year, they changed the they changed the script every single year. So the the local library, the St. Augustine, the main branch library has one from like, as a copy from 1984. And that’s the one I read. So if anybody wants to check it out, it’s at the library.

Bradley Hodges
And just occurred to me as well. Another interesting idea with tying it to the amphitheater is you know, in Roanoke, you have the references to the painter white. Well, you might have references to Paul Green with the green picket fence. I don’t know just throwing it out there. But

George Ward
yeah, but in the, in the 70s. There’s a there’s a newspaper article at the Historical Society. If you go to the Historical Society, they’re going to big file on the amphitheater and one of the news articles in that file, there is a thing where the Boy Scouts came down to the to the gardens and worked with the ladies auxilary I think, and they installed Greenfingers. They installed and painted green picket fences.

Stephen Poff
All right, Laura told me because I was asking her about you know, Laura has been there since she was like five years old. And so and she acted in it her dad was like, you know, the director. She doesn’t recall seeing the green picket fence, which to me, I still feel like the green picket fences is the entrance to the the entrance to the quarry. And there’s currently one there now, I can’t prove that there was one back then. But um, but the other thing that Laura said was the only place you really recall there being a fence. When we walk out walk through it. Whether is if you were standing up where the the monument is. There’s like a steep grade that drops down into the lake that’s out there. And she said she thought she remembered there being a fence along that keep people from, you know, going to the lake falling into Lake

George Ward
that could have been where the fences were installed. I’m not real sure how suddenly the article like, the article doesn’t say where they were just that they installed a lot of them. So maybe that was it. Maybe that’s what they’re talking about.

Stephen Poff
Yeah. That one I think of the last time

Brett Zingler
this is Cory. What do you know what they pulled out of the quarry? So?

George Ward
Yeah, it was a cookina Quarry. It was 100% of Kochi. unicorns and inch ever. Okay, yep, everything that’s built that was built in St. Augustine, from almost from the time it was founded, until the quarry shut down. The stone was pulled out of that quarry. So the fort was built out of that quarry. The hearts of the founder youth were built from that quarry. Basically everything was built from that quarry. Yeah.

Stephen Poff
You know, the other thing to point out, you know, you were asking me earlier about how I got down to that area. And again, I’m sure people have pointed this out before but you know, the, the shape of the rock not only outlines Florida, sort of right. But it also sort of looks like the island itself, you were able to look at a map of the you know, Anastasia Island, it looks very much the same shape is what in there’s a sort of a motif like there’s sort of a a there’s just sort of a direction from the top left to the bottom right, right. And if you looked at it’s like, it looks like a one right it looks like the highway that leads from the Top left down to the bottom right. And that’s another thing that I think sort of gets me out of that area.

George Ward
So the, in this image in this painting, there’s only ever been a couple of things that we’ve been able to identify. There’s the famous alligator that I was never able to see until and John Michael is always made fun of me for the Alexander gaita. Yeah, there’s this rock. Yeah, I see it now. And he had to be pointed out to me. And I was like, oh, that’s super obvious. Well, how did I miss that? There’s the rock in the middle of the water, right? And people are always like, why is this rock just sitting in the middle of the water? But what is a landmass surrounded by water? It’s an island. Yeah. Right. It’s just an island sitting in the painting. Well, and that, to me, that’s the easiest way to get you to the island. There’s only one island and St. Augustine. We call it

Stephen Poff
Island. Yeah. Well, and I think that that represents multiple things, obviously. I mean, one. I mean,

George Ward
I don’t disagree with that at all. Clearly.

Stephen Poff
You know, we, we can hear I’ll go back to I’ll go back to our rock. So so like, I’ve been all over St. Augustine, like that. Right. There. Looks to me like that right there.

George Ward
Yeah, it was even better when it had the giant palm tree behind it.

Stephen Poff
Right. Yeah, exactly. There was one right back here.

George Ward
So to me, I actually think there’s a picture of that on 12 treasures.

Stephen Poff
That’s right. I mean, I think, to me, there’s no mistaking that. But you know, there’s other places around St. Augustine, where there’s little tiny versions of these rocks. And there’s that one that’s out there on what how we 16 out by the old fountain of use, or whatever, whatever they call it. Like so, I mean, I guess that could be subjective. But to me paired with all the other things that’s in here, this is not subjective anymore. But

George Ward
it’s also important to point out what that rock is like right now. It’s just a rock in the middle of the parking lot. But back when the play was going on that that was the sign for the crossing the sword and had a giant cross a giant sword on it was the first thing you saw when you came into the park. Right? Like you drive into the driveway. It’s right there on the left and you can’t miss it. It’s five foot tall eight feet wide. Like there’s no way to

Stephen Poff
miss huge it’s bigger than it looks in that picture like you will stand next to it. It’s like taller than you are. Yeah. But you know the other thing that I see it as is like if you’re looking at you know if you’re looking at the painting as a relief of Florida, right. I mean, it’s it’s Lake Okeechobee, right? I mean, it’s it’s mirrored in the water and it’s it’s essentially the also the shape of Lake Okeechobee, which is another confirmer for Florida, which, you know, I’ve got thoughts about that as well. But I don’t know if we want to save that to the end or

George Ward
not. It is your show. We’re gonna go where you want to go. Yeah,

Stephen Poff
I don’t know. Is there anything else you want to walk through? Before we get to that point? I don’t know. I mean, Bradley’s or Brett’s privy to that part of it

George Ward
is No, I don’t I don’t know that he is, I haven’t told them anything that you haven’t put online. So unless you’ve put it online.

Stephen Poff
In that case, let’s walk through a couple other things. We’re talking about visual farmers just in the park, right, just things that you can actually see right now. Let’s go back. Alright. So obviously, this is like one of the, you know, one of the major confers features. And to me, that’s another thing if like you were just looking at parks around, you know, if you’re in 1983, and you were looking at parks around the St. Augustine era, and you walked in here and you saw this, you’d be like, Oh, okay, I need to keep looking right.

Bradley Hodges
When people can’t see in this photo, is these rocks actually have kind of like groove cutting marks on them from when they were mined. So they have in the nose? Yeah, exactly. You can’t see that in the same image, but they’re there.

Stephen Poff
So one of the other things that stood out to me a lot when I walk through here and I’ve been looking for before I even came to the amp was somewhere that look like this to me. This right here looks like rushing water under a bridge. It just It looks like we’re looking sort of across a bridge and the two little peaks there are like the peak of the bridge. And so I’ve been looking around St Augustine for that sort of thing because you know, the whole thing is about written in water and there’s so many references to water in the in the verse. And so I was looking for that. Well, here’s Here’s the deal, like, first of all, here’s the footbridge. That’s when you go there, you almost don’t even know you’re stepping across this bridge. And I had to clear this out like and stomp down all this stuff. But this is made a cookina right here. And right here is essentially a trough now you can’t see it. But if you were there at the space, you can feel along it, there’s like a trough that sort of runs down into the lake. And, and so a lot of the stuff that I see in the painting, which to me looks like rock and cookina is all sort of found in this area. So there was the bridge I feel like I was looking for right, that also leads out into the duck pond. There’s also at the, at the front entrance behind the let’s see. So the the rock, the big rock is like, straight ahead in this image right here. But one of the things again, you can’t see right now I had to clear it out. And George can tell you when you’re there, it’s a lot easier to see this. But there’s this is a pool, this would have been another pool of water right here. And there’s like a I think it’s hidden over here by this tree. But there was there’s also a like a birdbath over there. But this is the shape of what I called the Marlin at the bottom here, and there was water rushing into it from above it had like a like a waterfall that came right into here. The other thing is whenever you’re what I call the steps. And so there’s a couple of places like this out here. But this was the first one where I really was like, Oh, wow, this looks exactly like it like there. This, this would have been where water would have came down through here and it would have pulled in here. And you also have this series of steps right here. That to me line up and look like it. They also had one of these that led into the Marlin pool are the thing that I call the Marlin. But that was another visual confirmer to me. And one of the things that again, you can’t see it till you’re like in there and you really start kind of digging in and like stepping into these areas is that this whole garden was the you know, to me, like the written in water part like there’s no place in St. Augustine where you would have had to my knowledge anyway, this amount of like, it’s basically like a little waterpark.

George Ward
GEORGE So I guess for for audio people, what we’re talking about right now are if you if you go into this park, it’s hard to it’s hard to imagine scale, even with video. If you go into this park, everything that we’re talking about right now is within sight. It’s in an area the size less less than the size of a baseball field from one point to the other. There’s a bunch of pools, and a bunch of the pools sort of look like parts of the paintings. And they all sort of make a path. If you if you started the rock, you go, they’ve got the water wheel, and then you’ve got what he’s calling the Marlin pond. The duck pond is behind all of it. So yeah, and they do like I kind of agree. And in the, in the world of people showing me things that mean like this is this. These are a little more concrete than some of the other things that people have told me like I can I can at least visualize what you’re seeing here. It’s hard to know for sure, because it’s so overgrown because there’s just there’s just shit everywhere. We don’t, we had no idea what this looked like in the 80s.

Stephen Poff
I mean, literally when when I when I got in there. They were like the pool, the thing that they call the duck pond is like was literally not visible. Like I went into it and stomp down. Like I kind of found the edge of it and then went round stomp down the edges of where the cookina but essentially, it’s, you know, there’s a lot of things in the painting that kind of look like, like teeth around the edges of the you know, I think the part where people call the the blade, you know, or the birdwing or the bird that’s in the top right corner. If you think about it as a pool of water with the teeth part that surrounds it being the cocaina like that’s exactly kind of how all the pools in there are they’re all They’re all these little rock troughs with cookina edging all around them and then when you see those, you can suddenly start seeing a lot of the things that are you know, what seems to be represented in the painting and there’s no other place around St. Augustine, I think comes even close to that, except maybe out at the marina they have like a, they sort of have like a weird sculpture pool out in front of the Marina that, you know, kind of has that same thing going on. But, you know, not like,

George Ward
not nearly as Yeah, not nearly as as visible to tourists as the apple D and then

Stephen Poff
pass that if we want to reveal this, okay, here’s, you know, I feel like I’m had been walking around with this for forever, just because I feel like I needed to keep this under wraps while I was trying to look at things. But at this point, I feel like I’ve run out of options, and maybe somebody else can, you know, find something else. But one of the things that shocked me when I found it, was it. So I had been doing a lot of research on the app and was like, what was the gardens looking like doing a lot of digging with the Historical Society, which is I mean, they are a wealth of knowledge over there have a ton of pictures, their website is actually very, very useful. But what’s kind of cool about it is that there are sometimes descriptions of things that are on the Historical Society site. And they’re like, Well, if you want to see the picture, like contact us, and we’ll send you the picture, we’ll do a clipping or you can just send them an email and say, hey, you know, I’m looking for information about so and so don’t tell them about the secret because that tends to

George Ward
Yeah, they won’t help you. Yeah. Sound the conversation? What do you say? Immediately?

Brett Zingler
What do you say you’re looking for? Well, I kind of in for very treasure.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, I kind of told them that I was doing a little documentary on the witch. It wasn’t. I mean, in the end, I have a lot of footage. So if if I ever find the cast, or somebody does, I’ve got voted to put together this documentary. Yeah, I was basically said that, hey, I’m doing like a, you know, some research in a documentary on the amp. And, you know, I found that they had this, but I can’t find pictures of that. And so they started kind of digging and doing research for me. And they started sending me pictures. Well, one of the things, so I just want to preface this before show it when you look at the when you look at the painting, right? It’s like it’s like a relief, right? Because if it if we’re saying that the water is the shape of Florida, right? And then the landmass that’s in there, it’s actually the shape of like the water, right? It’s kind of opposite of what we would expect to see. But so you know, but we’ve read it as like, Hey, here’s the panhandle of Florida. Here’s the rock is like where Lake Okeechobee is. So what if you’ve been looking at that? Right? You’re like, oh, it’s like what it’s like Florida is like a pool of water. Right? And you walked in and you saw this right here which is Florida. Oh, nice of water with a little reflection feature be rock right there and look at the reflection underneath it. Oh, look at that, and some trees right behind it. Where you could have you can almost see the reflection of a tree right behind right beside the right there beside the reflection. So whenever I saw that I flipped my lid. I was like, oh my god, this is this was there. This was like the thing that was in there and look at it surrounded by cocaine, Iraq, right and right on the right hand side, where essentially where the St. Augustine was, that’s where you have a waterfall, which probably also is what the steps look like in the painting, but we can’t see those any longer. And it would have dumped from into the place where St. Augustine was into this pool of water shaped meat.

George Ward
Yeah, I know. competiting until until he showed me that picture. I had no idea it was there. So do we know where that was?

Stephen Poff
Yep. So this is the amp as it this is an amalgam actually of what the amp looks like now is is this was from the architectural firm who, who redid everything. And if you look right, I don’t Can you guys see my mouse? No, no. Okay. There’s like, you see where number five is there? Right? Yes, right. And to the left of five, there’s a little blue area. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And that is where it was. I don’t

Brett Zingler
see a number or exist Can you can you point out where number is between four and six. Okay. Can you be a little more specific. So

George Ward
if you’re if you’re looking at the if you’re looking at this

If you look you’re looking right giant.

Bradley Hodges
So if you look at the top right, the number you see there the first number you see several one looks down. That’s three. Okay, one underneath three is color. And then anything four. Okay.

Brett Zingler
Hard, hard to see. Sorry. Yeah.

George Ward
And then right to the left of that is a little Florida. So oh, there it is. Yeah.

Stephen Poff
Cool. So, yeah, there it is. And so to me, that’s confirmation. And here’s a couple other photos. Here’s another one of those waterfalls or steps and again, written in water. Right? We have Florida written in water, right? There’s another view of it, with waterfall flowing into that. And then we have

Bradley Hodges
we have Florida written in water. does it actually say Florida somewhere? Or are you just saying there’s a map of Florida and water?

Stephen Poff
No, yeah, it’s just the shape of Florida, written in water. To me.

Bradley Hodges
If you’re comfortable with it, I would send these photos to George Sony’s editing this, instead of using the screenshare, he can show the actual if you want any of the shared, he can share the actual photo, and it’ll look a lot better.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, at this point, I mean, I think we’re giving away the farm. Right. So when is it? This is great,

Bradley Hodges
you’re gonna have final choice on edit. So George will put it together and send it to you. And then you can say thumbs up, thumbs down, take this out. Keep that. So you have final say on it.

Stephen Poff
I mean, we’re cool. I think it’s sorry, right? Again, I think we’ve I’ve held that back for like a year and a half or almost two years now. And it’s time for someone else to see. See what they can do. It’s not like

George Ward
we it’s not like we haven’t put in a shovel in the ground out there somewhere. And then the entire area. Yeah, right. Well,

Brett Zingler
I was gonna ask if that’s gone now. Everything. Okay. That’s

George Ward
all right. That’s, I can’t, I don’t know. I don’t know for sure that the footers aren’t there. Because the hole of the amphitheater looks raised from what it used to be. There’s these big retaining walls. So I don’t know if they they cleared everything out. Or if they just covered everything up. I don’t know which one of those they did to me, it would be easier to just cover everything up. But so it might still be there. But it would be it’s not underground. It’s not fun.

Stephen Poff
Here’s the other thing about that. And this is this is where no, it’s not visible anymore. My thought is, is that the rock out front? You know, kind of like in, like in Cleveland, right? I mean, you didn’t have to dig at all the places that are located in the photo, right? They were just confirmed they were just visual conformers. Right. So my hope is that, you know, like the rock out front and the the Florida pool are just one of those things when you got there. Like you couldn’t deny that this was the place, right? Because you’re like looking at the giant rock that looks like the rock on the photo. And then you’re looking at the shape of Florida in water just like it is in the painting essentially, was like a big rock down there by Okeechobee that reflects in the water that you would see those two things and go okay, this is where I start. I’m in the right place. And so you weren’t like digging out there. But I will say that, Laura, Laura Olson remembers, again, these are things that like I didn’t even lead her on. I just asked her about the Florida pool. And she was like, Oh my God, yes, we used to play on that all the time. It was like my favorite thing because it was lit up. Beautiful at night. So in addition to the waterwheel that was lit up at night, when you would go into the theater, that that pool of water was lit up as well.

Bradley Hodges
From what I understand the entrance where that the stone is that looks like the island. There used to be a water feature there as well. Is that accurate?

Stephen Poff
Yeah, that’s the Marlin pool that I was showing earlier.

George Ward
He’s talking about the pool around the rock. I’ve been told that there was a pool of water on the rock and there is a there is there is a pool there there are there’s like footers. And there’s an underground pool sort of the same as the ones inside the gardens, but I cannot find a picture with it, having water in it. So I don’t know when or if it ever had water in it. Or maybe it’s just like a surround for plants. The Historical Society told me that it had water in it. But that’s about as far as I can get for a confirmation.

Stephen Poff
I haven’t seen. I haven’t seen any.

George Ward
I haven’t seen any information on that. Like, I’ve looked at a lot of pictures of that rock. And they they’ve always they’ve always had dirt. And when I when I when I said I know I said a couple of years ago that that thing had water in it I was going off of the historical societies.

Bradley Hodges
It would it would make sense if it did do because like George pointed out you would see the reflection of the rock but you would not see the reflection of the poetry behind it the vampire tree as we love

Stephen Poff
right. So yeah, that’s that.

Bradley Hodges
That’s that’s compelling stuff. Yeah. Wow. I mean, I came into this proof Where to go? Yeah. Okay, whatever this is, I want to I want to come down and check out the amphitheater again. I can say that much.

George Ward
So, a couple of years back, I hooked up with one of the people that worked there and we were able to dig a couple of holes, we dug a lot around the rock. So to me, my thing was always that like, really, really simple. I have something that looks exactly like something else in the painting. I want to dig next to it. And as soon as you go into the, the amphitheater right behind the rock, there’s a gate, or at least there was there’s not anymore, there’s still the fence posts for it. And I always ran under the assumption that the Boy Scouts were putting up green picket fences, we’ve got the fence posts here we’ve got a fence outline. That green picket fence was probably right there, right next to that rock. So you would have had a rock with a green picket fence run right beside it with the giant palm tree looks just like the painting. That was my focus. When the when the amphitheater was bulldozed. The front the front facade, like I said before, it looked like a giant wooden fort, and out in front of the fort where a bunch of big cocaina boulders, well, they took those boulders and they put them where that fence running beside the rock would have been. So it’s basically like 10 Time Kokino boulders over this one section where I really really want to dig. But I hooked up with the with the park guys, and we dug a bunch of holes around that stone and we didn’t find anything. And then later on before the San Francisco episode of Expedition unknown, I was working with those guys. And we were trying to get a GPR out there. We never got the GPR out there. But they still let me dig a shit ton of holes. And still we didn’t find anything. And then recently, when Steven, you posted a bunch of stuff online about about the amphitheater, and someone just went absolutely apeshit out there. Yeah, dug holes everywhere destroyed. The whole, like, there’s still huge holes that this guy didn’t fill in. Yeah, that it’s bad around the first the first monument that he showed you as soon as you climb the steps. It’s just nothing but big piles of dirt and giant holes all around the water wheel is giant holes.

Bradley Hodges
This is why I want to share stuff with you stop community.

George Ward
All right, it was it’s crazy. It was just like, I guess it was a local dude or somebody at least semi local maybe, I guess maybe he could have come down over the weekend because it all happened over like two or three days. And it was just that park. One day it was nice. And next day we came back it was false. It was crazy.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, it was it was disheartening to say the least. Yeah.

George Ward
If you could tell like it wasn’t like the dude didn’t have really any ideas. I think he just saw Steven stuff and thought it was great. Because it was everything that Steven posted a picture of had huge holes

Brett Zingler
around. That’s not how to dig. Yeah, we

Bradley Hodges
George and I were checking out the amphitheater one night, and we hit something that made a loud pop sound, and I swear that it was electricity line of some sort. No surprise, that one of us didn’t die.

Stephen Poff
Y’all it is I tell you what, it’s scary out there. Because that place so during COVID there’s been at least a couple of times we’ve gone out there at the beginning and COVID was like just slept in my car. And you know, like what a

George Ward
dangerous do

Bradley Hodges
your briefing

George Ward
was? Like? I don’t know if you know, but there’s a homeless encampment in the woods that

Stephen Poff
oh, yeah, I found it. Okay, that’s not a secret. The secret? Yeah, well, in one night, one night i i woke up and saw like an old guy and a bunch of teenagers with like flashlights starting to go into there. And, and I was like, I know what these guys are about. Alright, so like, I get out of my car and go up there. I’m like, Y’all treasure hunt. And they were like, no ghost Titan. I was like, all right. And so I tagged along and watch these guys like do that. But I’ve also seen things where it looked like drug deals going on out there, like people waiting and other people showing up and doing whatever, but it’s what the scariest thing to me though was one night so there’s a there’s a section. So there’s a part where I think there’s an actual direction in the, in the verse that’s like, you know, you know over the tall grass, you know, it’s like moon like in teardrops over the tall grass. Years pass rains fall, right. So there’s a couple of places where I feel like that lines up with something right there. And I was like, alright, but so matter of fact, to me, there’s a part you can go I don’t think I didn’t drag drag it into what I’m working on tonight. But there’s a there’s a in the painting, actually, let’s see in the painting There’s an actual shadow of the monument. And we’ll

Bradley Hodges
make that out.

Stephen Poff
Yeah, I’ll have to send it to you. It’s on. It’s on one of the Facebook pages, but

Brett Zingler
you got to blur you got to blur essentially going on there.

Stephen Poff
That’s right. That’s right. Hear me if I hold it beside my face. But there’s a I got one of those. There’s Hey, I know this in this call. So there’s, anyway, in the painting, there’s, there’s representation of the monument. And to me, it was like, Okay, well, it’s trying to say that like, looking over that if it was years past, right, because if we’re talking about 1967, or whatever it was dedicated to in 1967 by the Cherokee Garden Club, if you were to read that and be like, oh, years past rains fall, and the rains are falling over by the waterfall over there, you’re looking for a light, right? You’re looking for the moonlight in teardrops over the tall grass. So I was like, where’s the only place where this would have been lit, were you after a day of digging in there found there’s the one place where they have a pole that has multiple light fixtures on it, that would have been lighting up the waterwheel. And so I was like, Okay, I have to do this at night. So I can see what you would have seen then, right? So I like put up, you know, went out and took one of my video lights and put it in this one part and then decided it was going to wait until it got dark. And then I got my position back there. And I’m sitting there in the, you know, in the dark waiting to like an extra flash so it didn’t go off. But you know, it wasn’t like continuous lighting. It was a flash. So I’m sitting in the dark and I was popping this flash. But then I heard like it was like something it felt like something really big. And it kept getting closer. And then here Wow. And would scare the shit out of me because it was like it was like I guess it was a frog or something nearby. But finally I took my phone flashlight and I was like, like, turn it on and like turn to the road. And there’s like a possum like two feet from a nice looks up like what’s up, man? He just got it. But yeah, I was afraid like there was an axe murderer or something back in there. Oh. Yeah. Although that would have been worse. Yeah.

George Ward
So I will say, haven’t haven’t just heard that story, if anybody goes out to visit the amphitheater. There’s a rule you have to bring peanuts for Byron? Yes. So Byron Byron still around us of iron the other day. Byron is a chicken that lives at the amphitheater. He’s a roaster. You can’t miss him. He’s loud and he will follow you around everywhere you go. You have to bring him peanuts, or he will not be happy.

Stephen Poff
Yes. And if you ask him, where the cask is buried, He will take you to a place twice. He’s told me a place twice the castle is not there whenever I looked for it, but I did ask Byron out of frustration, and he did stop what he was doing and came but he will also scare the crap out of you the first time that I encountered Byron. I was walking along and he was walking behind me and then he decided to crow and yeah that’s a cool chicken.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, George took me out there. And we walked those paths along like it was like a fitness path or something like that. And it went by a pond in the entire time. I was like, we’re going to get eaten by an alligator. One of us is losing a leg

George Ward
that park like I would have loved to have seen that park in its heyday like it sounds so cool. Yeah, it did it have it had like a they had a bunch of gym equipment all strewn about the it was a trail I guess for old people to stay fit. It’s called the park horse. Yeah, the park horse that sort of was a serial numbered. music coming from

Stephen Poff
that’s my sounds like a doorbells ordered they must have ordered pizza at my house. There’s a Oh fun.

Bradley Hodges
Oh, if anybody’s wondering what that painting noises. Stephen has a very adorable dog in the background.

George Ward
So he’s very cute. Stella? Yeah, so the park courts had a bunch of like treadmills and ellipticals and different stuff like that. And they finally took up the last of them just before the pandemic so they’re all gone now. But there were a couple of them there.

Stephen Poff
Here’s here’s part of the the park course right here. You can see this gentleman’s getting his workout on. And then there’s crazy.

George Ward
It’s crazy to look at that map. Look at that picture and know where these things are and to see what the places look like now. Yeah, because if you look at the steps just to the left of where you were, like that’s all overgrown forest, nothing. Oh no, that’s not that’s the that’s the stage steps. Okay, number one.

Stephen Poff
Well there is. I’m trying to find the other version of it too. There’s another maybe I don’t have it here. But yeah, there’s there’s some. There’s some pictures I have that and I can send it to you and you can post them but the there’s some pictures I have where the, it is just wide open out there. And you would never know. I want to show you though. See?

Bradley Hodges
So while you’re looking for that, I always try to anticipate questions that the audience may come up with, or rebuttals that somebody may come up with. So I was reading Wikipedia, and I was reading about the crossing sword and the official name crossing sword a sulphonic drama of the Spanish settlement of Florida. Display is a musical reenactment depicting Florida’s early history at St. Augustine, especially its colonization by Spaniard, Pedro Mendez, and his settlers, bloody conflicts with the French Huguenots in Fort Caroline in present day Jacksonville. So it’s interesting that it covers all the way up to Jacksonville as well. But in case anybody’s curious, and wants to know that, that’s kind of the quick synopsis.

George Ward
Yeah, and it’s, I wouldn’t recommend, if you if you see this, and you’re like, Oh, we’re gonna check out the gardens. A lot of times when treasure hunters go to places like this for the first time, they take trips, and then they go at night. Do not go to the gardens at night. Not because you’re gonna like get murdered or anything. You’re gonna get hurt. Yeah, like the if you listen to some of the earlier podcasts where it was, it was me and John, and I was talking about like digging and like breaking my foot and like getting jabbed with giant Palmetto spears. I wouldn’t tell anybody where I was, this was where I was like it’s it’s legit. You’ll you’ll be walking down what you think is a path and step off of a three foot drop into an old lake. So don’t go at night and the first time at least

Stephen Poff
do is we say not as we do

Bradley Hodges
and go with don’t go by yourself

Stephen Poff
by the way here are so here’s one, and I think I gotta thank Laura for sending me this. So here’s this is a little blurry but here’s the front with George was talking about awhile ago that had a huge wall in the front and was lavishly decorated in the front it was beautiful. And there’s those rocks he was talking about. They’ve since moved those, those those rocks that are right there. In the front, over to the side of the big rock that we now know. The one he was trying to dig under. There’s the waterwheel and it’s hey day

Bradley Hodges
so that’s actually exceptionally suddenly to the entrance of the amphitheater in front Raleigh. Exceptionally similarities.

Stephen Poff
There’s this bird bath is still there that’s right behind the big rock. And what I was calling them Marlin pool that’s where that here’s another here’s the fountain the duck pond and the waterwheel. But here’s the here’s the biggest thing like this is like a big beach back here and let’s landing where like the ducks can like none of this is all trees now like it’s all grown. Like there’s it was wide open out there same like here is

George Ward
the jungle that’s Christus the jungle now it

Stephen Poff
looks nothing like that anymore. So I think this would have been similar to how he would have seen it back then.

Brett Zingler
If you if you had to put you on the spot. If we had if you were forced to dig in one place, where would it be?

Stephen Poff
So please don’t because it’s our urban density.

Bradley Hodges
This is after this. You go back to this photos after this I want you to go back to those photos. Okay,

go ahead. So here so I don’t

George Ward
You don’t have to have you don’t want to by the way.

Stephen Poff
I know. So this is kind of the layout of the of the amp like when you first or the garden I should say when you first walk in and one of the things that stuck out to me was this. So you see the thin kind of looks like an arrowhead. That is actually a big pool which used to hold water and it’s the the like the bottom of the shaft if you will, it was worthy and where the waterwheel was. And so I was like, Oh, how cool would it have been? Because it points like it literally points directly north. And I don’t mean like figuratively, I mean, like biocomposite, like, aims directly north. And if you look, that blue line right there is where it’s going from where the light is where that only light I was talking about earlier that only light directly across the monument, indirectly back into behind this worth the steps are the waterfall back here is there a sort of a converging area. And there’s also a post back there that looks like it could have been part of a green picket fence. But I can’t, I can only find one of the posts, but it’s kind of hidden back there. But that was the general area of where I’ve been looking. And my thought was, is it if I knew where the rest of those posts were? Then we could have had a sort of a straight line of where to start probing and digging, but it is it’s a rather large area back there. It’s like you know, hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack in that area. But that’s where

George Ward
looking for a cask and St. Augustine.

Stephen Poff
That’s exactly right. But to me that lined up with the the the dude at the tear moonlight in teardrops over the tall grass because that monument, and again I can I can send a picture to George but that monument lines up with something exactly in the painting that has a tall grass, it’s essentially the thing people were talking about and and fountain to us where they were looking for the tree or the they were looking for the fountain that was over a fence or whatever it was essentially that same thing, but it’s the same shape as the monument

Brett Zingler
was this place.

Stephen Poff
Right? You are sorry. What did you want me to get back to this is

Brett Zingler
that what was was this place, like littered with green picket fences at the time.

George Ward
So Stephen said earlier that he doesn’t think they were that someone who was in the play doesn’t remember a whole bunch of them. There was a green picket fence around around the pond. And I know there were there were picket fences out there.

Brett Zingler
I just don’t know where that like, if so I asked that. Because like if you if you found this spot, and you went, Whoa, there’s all these visual confirms from the image and you know, some of the verses lining up. Yeah, you could you could narrow it down by one of one of a handful of green picket fences, right?

George Ward
Yeah, yeah. But the the crappy thing about Florida weather man is if you build anything out of wood, it’s only going to last like any any of that crap wood that they use for fencing. It’s only gonna last 10 years, especially that close to the saltwater. It’s just gonna rot mean nothing out there that’s made out of wood last. So if you put up a green picket fence in 1973, it’s going to be about the fall over by 1983. And if you put one up in 1981 by 1991, okay, he destroyed so, you know, who knows. And that’s not something that that’s not something Byron would have known. If he if he came down for a couple of days. And he saw a green picket fence, he’s not going to think well, whether it’s gonna rot this and right, well, yours, or they’ll just Yeah, or build another one or they won’t or whatever.

Bradley Hodges
Alright, so my I had two questions about that those images. The first question I had was, are we certain that it’s a bird bath and not a sundial? No, it’s a bird bath. It’s a barbell. Okay. Another question is, what can you tell us about the middle picture on the far right with what appears to be a crossing a fence?

Stephen Poff
Oh, I think that’s a optical illusion tree. Right? Yeah, it was just looks like Yeah, that’s interesting, though. I think it’s an optical illusion based on like, where the sun is dappling on the tray on the tree. But yeah, it does look like a cross. But I mean, some of that is still out there. Some of those like the the plank or the walkways, and some of them have been rebuilt. But but you know, it’s interesting, though. I want you to see something like that. Like I showed you guys earlier, the walkway. And this walkway. It was way more prominent back then look at that. Yeah. Like it’s nearly buried. Now. You can barely tell but look how much more of a bridge it is. Right?

Bradley Hodges
So that’s where the water’s coming out underneath the bridge that you’re talking about earlier. Yeah, yeah, I see that. That’s That’s that spot. Yes, the billing, definitely compelling

Brett Zingler
is that where you were waiting to secure layers

George Ward
of right there not even not even 30 years of not even just mismanagement, it’s 30 years of completely not being touched, things growing up and rotting and like dying and rotting, where they, you know, falling wherever that and it’s, it’s, it’s just bad vines everywhere. Like, literally no one has touched it in 30 years, it became a jungle. I mean, pads are all covered up and dirt and old palm fronds or whatever.

Stephen Poff
I mean, it’s growing up everywhere, right now they kind of tree next down, right right next to it, and the tree is just cut up in giant chunks. And it’s just laying all up in here. On the other side of this, again, like there’s times you’re just walking past something. And you would just never know what it is that you’re looking at. Until, you know, like you. Like George says, you almost fall off or something like wait, what is this? And then you like start kicking around? I look at this. There’s a whole other like, you know, trough back here, or waterway or whatever. But literally, I mean, for a verse that talks so much about water. I mean, there’s so much out here regarding water.

Bradley Hodges
Yep. Right. And one thing I forgot to mention earlier, that rock that you see when you first come into the amphitheater. It wasn’t just a rock that wouldn’t catch our attention. It was a it had a big cross and sword on it. And it was like the Hello, you’re here at the theater. Welcome to the show. Rock. So it was it was something that would draw your attention to it. It’s something that you would definitely see coming to the to the amphitheater.

Stephen Poff
It’s gonna see if I have a picture of it. I’m sure George has obviously got this one on your wall treasures. Yeah.

George Ward
There’s one on 12 treasures right next to the rock in the painting. It’s it’s hard to deny. It’s difficult to deny.

Stephen Poff
I know it’s funny, because I was listening to you talk on one of the previous chats a couple of weeks ago or either last week and you were like, well, it’s hard to deny fly. I mean, yours is. But also,

George Ward
yeah, yeah. The fact that youth is a lot of good verse stuff. But you know, if I’m if, if, if I’m playing devil’s advocate, everything except cask everything except the word cask and the word silver, because you’re not going to find anything silver in St. Augustine. But all of the really good verse match stuff for the fountain of youth, you can find all over the city. Yeah. It’s not exclusive to the fountain of youth.

Stephen Poff
But again, if you take that line, and you’re like, Okay, what are the what are the things that I have? What are the things that are common with each of these things? You’re like, oh, well, they’re all four things that you’d have to get out of the ground, you would have to quarry out of the ground silver, solid limestone everything. So quarry is like your answer for that. If it is indeed the answer for that, you know, but, but it makes just as much sense. But I do feel like yeah, he like walked through and he was like, Oh, here’s all the cool, like terminology. Like, you know why he’s in there. He’s like, here’s some cool, you know, in a way, it’s almost not even inventive. It’s kind of, you know, he just is almost lazy. I mean, because cast doesn’t mean what cast means, you know?

Bradley Hodges
Well, one day, when we were digging at the fountain of youth in Georgia, you can cut this if you think it shouldn’t be out in the in the wild, but I don’t think it’ll be a big deal. Steven, here’s it. Myself, George, and Brian’s in, we’re out checking a few spots. And we were at the back and Brian was like, you know, this one area always caught my attention. And I was always curious about it. And there’s like the perfect match the perfect match. At the base of a tall tree. It was a placard for the fort of somebody pine. And we’re like, Well, what’s another word for for a Ford? What’s a base? What’s another? What’s a pine? A pine is a tall tree. This is literally the base of a tall tree. Yeah. But George, Doug, oh, my favorite. There was no yeah,

George Ward
we even got a we got a GPR out there and then we still get out anyway.

Stephen Poff
But you know, there are so many things that are mystery about all of it. Like, you know, when you talk about like, you know, the fact that they hid the, you know, the fort in the flag, you know, or you’ve got like, you know, thing that got me was like looking at the whoever it’s supposed to be Ponce de Leon Menendez, you know, whatever. He has new armor on except for the helmet, right? But he’s got this vest. And that vest to me. There’s only one place in in in St. Augustine that matches the the yellow and green On that vest and it’s right there at Flagler in the, which is like, the hilt is. So one of the things that I, when I first started looking, is it, he’s missing all his armor. He’s missing all the stuff that’s on him. Where do we find all that? Right? Well, if you go to Flagler, there’s the it’s a, it’s a fountain, but it’s a sundial. And it’s the hilt of his sword. Right? Well, now I found his sword that he didn’t have on. And it’s got the decorations all around the hilt of the sword, or the green and yellow checkered, you know, design on there. So there’s so many things like that, where you could like walk around, you know, St. Augustine and go, Oh, well, this, this is the only place he would find that this makes sense. This is the you know, but like,

George Ward
I think I think we’re really good at making this puzzle better than it actually is. Like, we’re really good at inventing puzzles. Like if the perfect example is Boston, we focused on Charles gate on the two C’s, the CG or whatever, for so long, which looks because it’s an ABS. It’s an absolutely perfect match to that thing in the painting. Right? And to do, which has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. He probably never saw it. He’s probably never seen it exactly. But we made like, we ignored. So we ignored the like, how all this fits together, and focus more on this one stupid little thing and then tried to force everything else together. And I think the amphitheater, I think the fountain of youth, we try to force a lot. Yeah, the amphitheater. We also try to force a lot. But I think the things that we don’t try to force at the amphitheater, like I think it fits the broader picture a little better. I really, I still like I’ve said it a couple of times. Now I still just I think we’re looking at paintings wrong. I think Ponce is sitting on a horse on top of a landmass planting a flag, which is, in essence, the story of St. Augustine. And I don’t know that it gets any deeper than that for me. I don’t know that we need to look for what what shaped to the shadows make or you know what the design of the flag matches a river or what you know what I’m saying? I know

Stephen Poff
that from Boston, right? That’s the one place where like, jjp is like, Oh, yeah. Well, yeah, there’s just kind of

George Ward
Boston right here. And

Stephen Poff
you’re like, what, what?

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, you’re like that. What I was, what the next thing I was going to mention was, I would love for somebody to put just just the just the, the image of the dude on the horse in front of a kid, somebody in like fifth grade or lower. It’s a point out every little thing that you see in this, what hidden images do you see? Because the way this horse is painted, and the way the sky is shaped? There’s something there that we haven’t found. There’s no doubt there is something there that we haven’t found. All right. And I don’t know what point

Stephen Poff
to that point. If y’all don’t mind me jumping over to New Orleans real quick, because I do feel actually going to New Orleans much more than I go to St. Augustine, but it’s not I tried to really kind of stay out of it. Because it’s Travis’s. You know, he’s like, my best friend. And that’s Travis’s thing, and I gotta wish you find that, I hope he finds it.

George Ward
I gotta get him on a podcast at some point,

Stephen Poff
you do. You do.

George Ward
I gotta, I gotta, I gotta get him to drill down. But I gotta get amongst.

Stephen Poff
He’s got a lot to say. But one of the things that there’s there’s a couple of things, and I’m not I’m not going to jump into his version of anything except for one because this is it’s, it’s been out there before. But, well, two things. One, one is part of the verse. And, you know, the fact that if you were to if you just say, at the place where jewels abound. And you know, the first thing you would do if you were to pick up any city, if you were to go into any city and be like, how do I find anything, the first thing you’re going to do is grab a map, right? And the first thing I would notice is that going down this map, when you go down a list of streets is suddenly you’ve got Opal and Amber and turquoise and Amethyst, and you’ve got like, oh, wait a minute, there’s all the secrets from all the jewels from the secret, or in this one place. And when you go to look at that on a map, it looks like the mask. It’s up there by pilight Potty Train. And you’re like holy cow, like all the all of the places where the jewels are right here in this place. It looks like a mask. And then if you count down 15 rows 15 streets, it leads you to the street that cuts across city park, right. Well, one of the things when I was so my daughter, we were going my my oldest daughter was getting married couple years ago. And so my youngest when we were going down there was like Hey, I was like you want to go take a look at this treasure hunt thing, right? And and she was like, Oh my God. Yeah, so she’s like, let me see the painting. So she got the painting, you know, time she was, uh, you know, she was 10. And so I’m like, Well, what do you see? What is what is it in here? That didn’t make sense to you? And she’s like, Oh, well, she’s like, it looks like you’ve got, like, like fairy tale stuff going on here. She says, you’ve got the, you got like three blind mice, right? Because of the clock. She says, you have the cow jumped over the moon, because of the stars. And I was like, Oh, okay. And I’m like, Yeah, that makes sense. And then she says, and then you’ve got, you’ve got the Little Red Riding Hood break, because you have the wolf with grandma’s dress on right? And I was like, All right, and so we started looking for more stuff. And I was like, Well, you know, somebody mentioned that there’s a spoon in here right? And I put the moon she goes Yeah, well, that goes with the cow jumped over the moon and the you know, the plate, the spoon and whatnot. So we started looking and so part of the verse it’s always gotten me was part where it says, phase admire gnomes delight. Right? So like, what do we know? Gnomes for? You know, like, if you just mentioned gnome to any average person, you know, to me, they say like gardens, right? So, in New Orleans, you have two places right next to each other, you have Storyland and you have you have the Botanical Gardens, and they literally are like they share the property. They’re part of the same thing you when you go into the like, you can buy a ticket for Storyland or the botanical gardens at the same desk. So you have phase delight. Gnomes admirer, right? So I was going through some photos earlier this week, I was scanning a bunch of stuff. And as I was scanning all my photos Oh, shoot, I thought I drugs and photos in here. I’m gonna be bummed out if I didn’t actually send these to George though. So one, I know this has been posted before. But these are my these are my personal photos from 1993. Around the time my me and my wife got married. So nice. Yeah,

George Ward
like you can’t you can’t deny that. You mean come on. Nice. Can’t do it.

Stephen Poff
First of all, like that’s at the top left hand. It like the boy from Lafayette Park. And all right, I could kind of see it. But that’s perfect. I mean, that’s exactly it. Right?

George Ward
And it fits the sounds of friends right? Because what that they’re like talking talking flowers. You’re talking to one and your friend at the other end can hear your voice. So the sounds of friends Phil the afternoon hours like it makes perfect sense.

Stephen Poff
See, I mean me my wife loved this park. We were there a lot. So it’s hard to see. See there’s there’s another version of it. Well, first of all, here’s here’s this one too. This one’s hard to isn’t. This one’s hard to see as well. But there’s our wolf. All right. That’s up from Little Red Riding Hood. Got that that exists in there. Or did I think it still I think that one still does.

George Ward
So I got this like, I know they read they renovated the park in the early 80s. No one is 8182 Somewhere around there. And I’ve got the I’ve got the No it was like 83 Maybe when they renovated the park but I’ve got the the original diagram for the way the park was in like 7879 and I can’t remember I can’t remember off the top of my head what all was there.

Stephen Poff
There’s your cow jumped over the moon.

George Ward
I didn’t know that was on the ground into like hanging up now.

Stephen Poff
I don’t know. I tried to go there. I had my dog with me last time they wouldn’t let her come in. And I couldn’t. I couldn’t get in there to go check. There’s also like a place where you can do puppet shows which makes me think of the mask right or either the mask is part of like where jewels abound. But there’s also like the they had like these sort of Punch and Judy shows that they would show in here. I think that’s still there.

George Ward
Yeah. And another important thing about storyline back then you’d have to pay to get in. It was open. There were no walls. There weren’t fences or anything. Yeah, the only thing I was that was that was part of the renovation was they added ticketing and prices and fences.

Bradley Hodges
Peter Pan

Stephen Poff
keep doing that. Right. So yeah, Peter Pan. So, the so there are several things like one the clock could be related to Peter Pan, right because Captain Hook’s afraid of the clock.

George Ward
Or Cinderella,

Stephen Poff
or Yeah, right, right, or Cinderella, but I don’t know that Cinderella exists in the park. I’m trying to just stay within the things that I know exist. But yeah, you might be right. The wolf, obviously, the cow jumped over the moon. There was another one. Oh, so there was one for Peter Pan and not Peter Pan. Whatever thinking was Pinocchio. Oh, here it is. Again, sorry, these aren’t turned already. But so to me. So, again, my daughter pointed this out. And I, you know, who knows what’s true, what’s not, but this was just from her fifth grade perspective, is that the, the handle look like it could be Pinocchio’s nose, the handle of the mask that they’re holding. So those are things whenever you think about, like breaking down the, the, you know, the picture where you go, Oh, well, there’s like, you know, because some, you know, for the longest time, like people have been, you know, with both St. Augustine and New Orleans, like, well, there’s nothing in the New Orleans that can be, you know, you can’t look at that photo and say, there’s all the stuff there, like, you know, it’s just, it must be something, you know, all in the verse and the picture doesn’t really matter. And you’re like, Well, if you knew where you were, and you’re in Storyland, and you start breaking it down to you know, you start breaking it down to like Peter Pan and the clock for either three blind mice or Peter Pan, you break it down to Pinocchio’s nose, break it down to the cow jumped over the moon, you break it down to Little Red Riding Hood, and the whole painting makes sense. And it’s all right there.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, but how do you explain the vectors?

Stephen Poff
Oh, yeah. Well,

George Ward
now you get all the wolves, Steven. Everybody, the Wolfman

Bradley Hodges
models.

Stephen Poff
I’m not going to tell you. I’m not going to tell you where this because this is Travis’s. This is part of Travis’s solve, or one of his past solves, but I will say that Travis had the most perfect solve ever that were hit there. Not only first of all, there’s the wolf that Storyland. But the place where he was digging, had a wolf there. And it was like hidden off in a corner, almost as if it was watching, you know, where you were digging. And we literally bear it. When we when we covered it all back up. We bury parts of the book in there, because I was like, if it’s not here, I want something from the secret to be here. It’s so perfect.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, like, actually tore out like a page of the book and put it there. Yeah, yeah. So

Stephen Poff
So part of the series is exactly in that place now. That’s awesome. Yeah.

Bradley Hodges
Steven, this was, this is amazing, man, I really appreciate you go. There’s some really, really good stuff. And now I’m scared of Storyland.

Brett Zingler
I’m afraid of folds. And for a guy that, you know, for me, I don’t know much about St. Augustine or the St. Augustine puzzle very much. And whenever I hear about it, it’s fountain of youth. So this was really like, not only interesting, but enlightening. And it’s nice to see that you’re in a different place. And that that place is so compelling. But not only that. That is a lot of interesting stuff. And it looks like you’ve done a lot of work too. So kudos to you. I think that that’s, it’s it was fascinating. Appreciate it.

Bradley Hodges
That’s it. That’s the kind of stuff I like to see somebody have when they come come to me with information. They’re like, I have this really great idea and I want to share it with you and 90% of the time, if not more, it’s just some wild. This could relate to this because a third chapter, this book and the cousin of this guy, his name, and your everything that you gave us, for the most part is super cool.

Brett Zingler
It’s simple to I mean, it’s not

Stephen Poff
super confirmation bias. No,

Brett Zingler
you could say that but I mean, you know, that’s just because you’re in the weeds with it. But like for a lay person like me, you know, thinking about this, I followed you precisely through everything, it all lines up and make sense to me. And it’s in like Bradley said that’s pretty rare, because I do get a lot of, you know, solves that aren’t like that. Like he mentioned as all of us do. So if I thought I thought you did a good job. That’s great. Thank you for coming on.

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George Ward

Bradley Hodges

Brett Zingler

Stephen Poff

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