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01. an intro – Shhh… The Secret Podcast

by | Dec 7, 2017 | 0 comments

An Intro

 

 

George and JM give an Intro on the 1982 book The Secret

 

 

Intro Guy
Welcome to the secret podcast. And now your hosts JM and Bernstein. Welcome to the secret podcast pilot episode.

JM
My name is JM and this podcast is the combination of a six year journey of mine into Biron prices the secret a treasure hunt a book published by Bantam in 1982. It was 2011 When I first heard about and took an interest in this book, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I started to put together a team of who I considered to be the most experienced people involved with this specific treasure hunt. All of them were past and active users on the quest for treasure website online. Over the last four years, we’ve been working in groups decoding, deciphering and discussing theories related to the book and its 12 puzzles. Through these discussions and sharing, we’ve made significant progress on decoding the 12 images and verses relating to the 12 burial sites in the hunt. Now, I say 12, because even though there were two of them recovered to date, one of them in Chicago in 1983, and one in Cleveland in 2004. There are still things that we learned about both of the soft cities. In fact, even though extensive interviews were done with Rob Eric and David about Chicago, and Brian and Andy about Cleveland, only part of the solution was revealed from those articles and news clips. Upon further research, we’ve been able to learn a little bit more about both of these cities, including some of the things both parties missed, respectively. It appears that at least for those two cities, one didn’t have to solve the puzzle completely, to find the treasure. However, in both cases, the party searching did not strike gold, or gems as it would be on the first hole. It took many attempts over the course of many months in the case of the Chicago puzzle, and they even received a little help from the editor himself in the form of a picture of the burial site. In the Cleveland adventure, Brian and Andy dug up an entire planter box before Andy Abrams on a last attempt came up with a piece of plexiglass, which led them to uncovering the casque. Ironically, in both cases, it seemed as if both parties were about to throw in the shovel as it may be. And at the 11th hour, they found what they were looking for. Neither party though was able to fully explain how the treasure hunt worked, or how to work the puzzles completely. Even after working on this sometimes more than 40 hours a week for six years. And with the help of a group of seasoned veterans, I haven’t fully solved all of the 12 cities yet. However, through real life, trial and error working for countless hours alone online with others and at the physical locations with boots on the ground, as well as an intense study of historical data relating to the areas in question. And as a group, we have been able to understand much more precisely how this treasure hunt works. Now, I’m not here to give out the answers to the puzzles or tell you where I believe the treasure casts are buried. Rather, I’m here to guide you and provide you some instruction on how to work these puzzles, and lends some theory on how one can approach the hunt from a logical point of view. Before we get into more of this, I’d like to take a minute to introduce the team that I work with. Those of you who have been working on this for more than a few years may recognize some of the names, the mire of theories and ponderings posted on some of the forums were just a bit too much for me to deal with. Sometimes trying to find a good piece of information in the online forums is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Sifting through pages and pages of theories, which offered no conclusive evidence on how to work the puzzle was very daunting. And I figured there had to be a better way. The good thing is from reading all of the individual posts, I could see the cream that was rising to the top. I started to target certain individuals who had the knowledge, background and intellect to comprise a great team of people with a goal of coming up with a final solution to the puzzle, not just one city but all 12 The whole puzzle. It started with a quest for treasure user named animal painter, a woman who I started working with early on on one specific puzzle. Together we made many early attempts at not only trying to recover a casque but also implementing tools like ground penetrating radar and metal data Action on a mock casque buried in a plexiglass box the same dimensions as the ones Byron price buried. If you’re interested in more on that there is a Vice magazine article online, which covers some of my early ventures and even has a picture of the mock casque and box. After many attempts, we came up empty. And that’s when I got serious about learning more about all 12 of the puzzles and not just one. It’s also when I started to form the team. I chose people who were active in the hunt for more than 10 years, and lived in cities where we suspected the treasures were buried. Over the course of four years, some people have parted ways with the team and we’ve even brought in some less experienced people who have the same desire and logical approach to solving the puzzle. The team as it stands now consists of Brian Xin and Andy Abrams, who on earth the Cleveland casque over 13 years ago. Since that time, Brian has been working on the St. Augustine portion of the puzzle, as well as teaming up with Andy on occasion to contemplate fort Raleigh and the New York City portion of the puzzle. Brian and Andy are the only members of the team who have personally met Byron and I have been to the vault in Manhattan where Byron kept the gems. Their personal interaction with him lends an invaluable contribution to our team and we’re happy to have them. The Cleveland Plain Dealer also wrote an article on Brian and Andy’s fine, which you can look at online. And recently, Josh gates of Expedition unknown on the Travel Channel did an episode on the treasure hunt which included both of them. The episode is scheduled to air in January of 2018.

We’re also very lucky to have Matthew sparks, known online has melted Falcon, who has been working on the hunt since 1982, when the book was first released. Although Matt has his primary focus on San Francisco, he has made some significant fines about the puzzle overall, which we will get to later on when we talk to him in a future episode. He’s also quite familiar with all of the 12 cities in question. Over in Charleston, we have TJ known online as TJ gray. He’s been at this for the last five years and has been on several digs in Charleston and Fort Raleigh. TJ has done extensive research on the history of the parks in question to recreate the landscape circa 1982. We often turn to TJ to scrutinize our theories in the respects of historical accuracy. I don’t want to forget about the upbeat and always colorful will house our good friend Mark from Texas who has been working on the Houston portion of the puzzle for quite some time now. And he has also been active since 1982. as well. Aside from having plenty of personal correspondence with Byron price via letters and emails, will house also took a front end loader to the suspected Houston treasure site and has amassed a vault of historical data on Houston. We’ll cover more of his personal experiences as with all of our team members when I have them on the podcast as guests. Our friend Robert down in the southwest known online as Fox is another veteran who started the secret thread on quest for treasure. One of the websites devoted to information on the secret as well as other hunts. Robert was one of the first to figure out that the images contained longitude and latitude coordinates determining the correct cities. Roberts been working at this well over 15 years and has put some holes in the ground in New York City as well. Some of our newer members who have been brought in over the last year include Justin known online as several over in Milwaukee, and Brian in Houston, who worked with the parks department there, as well as our good friend John and Montreal. And last but not least, our friend burn style, who you’ve heard mentioned as my co host. He’ll be joining me in the second half of this podcast, burn style moderates the secret forum on Reddit. Bernstein has been working on the St. Augustine puzzle for quite some time now as well. So that’s our team as it stands. And a lot of what I’m going to share with you in this podcast would never have come to light without the combined efforts of this current team, as well as some of the former team members from over the last four years. Now there are a few websites out there such as quest for treasure, commonly referred to as Q for T, which has a trove of great information dating back to 2004. And the PBworks wiki page, which sadly has turned into a platform, it seems for one person to push his own personal opinions onto the hunting community. One purpose of this podcast is to give some alternate information which opposes a lot of The information being put out by people who haven’t really taken the time to research the puzzle properly. Again, I nor the members of my team claimed to be the absolute experts on this puzzle. But all of our track records do speak for themselves. And the amount of research that we’ve done on this puzzle is much more than any website or group to date. We hope that you’ll find the information given on this podcast helpful in your quest, and I feel that you’ll be on the correct path to digging up your own casque if you’re keen enough to approach this puzzle the right way, and solve all the riddles and puzzles hidden within. Now let’s delve into the book itself a little bit.

The secret, one of a number of armchair treasure hunt books, which were put out in the early 80s. And most if not all of them were inspired by a 1979 book released by Jonathan Kaye publishing in the UK. It was written and illustrated by Kitt Williams, and it was called Masquerade. We need to discuss this book a little bit in order for you to understand where price was coming from with the secret in 1982, when the internet was only an idea inspired by the novels of Philip K, Dick and all this Huxley and other such sci fi writers of their era, it wasn’t possible to just look up everything and anything at will, intelligence was required. One had to be well read. research needed to be done with analog tools like maps, encyclopedias and trips to the public library. Crossword puzzles, word games and riddles were the video games of the day well, unless you had Pong. And that other game that came with it, where you would shoot the little white dot bouncing around the screen with the cheesy gun. You couldn’t call your friend from the park to talk about something you had to find a payphone and have a quarter. It was a different time, one that sadly people born after 1994 will never know of. This was the atmosphere which masquerade emerged and then the secret after that. Masquerade was a book of paintings a picture book, if you will. 16 paintings existed 15 puzzle pages and a key page. Each puzzle painting was bordered by a sentence or phrase, which read in a circular fashion around the painting. The pages told the story of a hare named Jack hare, who seeks to carry a treasure from the moon depicted as a woman to her love object, the sun shone as a man. On reaching the sun, Jack finds that he’s lost the treasure and the reader is left to discover its location. The treasure is a hare, a rabbit if you will, crafted from 18 karat gold and jewels in the form of a large filigree pendant on a segmented chain. The pendant was sealed inside a ceramic hair shaped casket, both to protect the prize from the soil and to ruin attempts at locating it with a metal detector. The casket was inscribed I am the keeper of the jewel of masquerade which lies waiting safe inside me for you, or eternity. It was buried in a public park in the UK. Although there is some controversy surrounding the recovery of the prize. And the person who claimed to solve the puzzle there were two people who actually did solve the entire puzzle. Ironically, they dug up the hair without realizing it, and it was someone else who went through their tailings that recovered it. Nonetheless, the puzzle was solved and the way it worked was very elaborate. In each painting, a line must be drawn from each depicted creatures left eye through the longest digit on its left hand and out to one of the letters in the page border of the phrase going around each one, then from the left eye through the longest digit on the left foot, the right eye through the longest digit on the right hand, and finally the right eye through the longest digit on the right foot. Pretty complicated. The letters indicated by these lines were made to form words either by treating them like anagrams or applying the sequence of animals and digits suggested by the key painting. The final phrase not only told you where the hair was buried, but an acrostic puzzle, in the final phrase gave you the location of the park to look in also. So this was the basis of the arm chair treasure hunt. It was something that you did at your house at your college dorm room in your free time. It was a puzzle which required or only the book itself and a sharp mind. This is what inspired Byron Preiss to make the secret and this is something you should keep in mind when working on his puzzle. Remember, it’s a puzzle, not a scavenger hunt. The 12 images and 12 verses are meant to be decoded. To give you the answers you need to locate the burial site. It’s not a step by step guide, which plainly takes you from one place to another to retrieve the treasure. as some suggest, it’s a series of puzzles, riddles, and games, which one must decode to formulate an answer, which will unlock the location of the burial site.

There are a lot of misconceptions about how to do the puzzle. Many of them put out by people who didn’t take the time to research the book and just hopped on the bandwagon after it was rolling. Neil’s proctor who took over the moderation of the wiki page, he’s known as Oregonian online. He’s one of these people. The PBworks wiki page on the secret is one of the most widely used resources on the hunt. Before Neil’s revamped it. It contained a lot of really great data data which has now been erased because it didn’t fit his opinion of how things worked. He’s even used data that I’ve provided him with to disprove a theory and turned it around in a way to make it fit his own theory. The problem with the wiki page is that the person running it doesn’t know how to do the puzzle. But he does pontificate solutions, like he has a shelf full of casks. As a resource for viewing images, and some of the past data collected, it can be of some value, you’ll have to use your own judgment as to what you choose to believe about his solutions and methods. I for one thing that after several episodes of this podcast, it will be self evident. And by logical conclusion of your own, that there is some merit to me calling bullshit on the wiki page. Now let’s take a short break and we’ll come back with burn style and discuss more about the secret you are listening to the secret podcast Welcome back to the secret podcast. Joining me now from the alligator infested hurricane battered state of Florida is Mr. Burns style. I’m JM so I guess you’d be known as BS. How are you? Fuck,

George Ward
I just had puck has to be the first word that I say.

JM
Well, certain standards must be met I guess. So. I’ve given the people a quick introduction for this podcast that we’re doing here and a little bit about the team and a little bit about Masquerade. Do you have anything you want to comment about the masquerade book? Have you done some research on it as well?

George Ward
No, I mean, I looked at masquerade a little bit, as you know, just kind of going over the basics of it. I didn’t see a whole lot in it that I can apply to the secret. But I think that’s because you and I approach this puzzle in a little different way. I’m more of a this is a dead simple, stupid puzzle. And if you overthink it, you blow it

JM
I tend to agree I was giving the folks a little bit of insight of what it was like to live in 1982. If if you’re not old enough to know that time and kind of what it was like you couldn’t just look things up on a whim or call your friend from the park. Like I said, you kind of had to use some intellect and you had to be a little bit well read and understand things in the way that things were understood back then. I mean, people did a lot of puzzles and crossword puzzles and brain teasers instead of playing Pac Man. And well until Pac Man came out, of course, but yeah, it is fairly simple in some respects. But it is a puzzle.

George Ward
I think price made a pretty good effort to try to make it complicated to put some complicated elements in it. But I think in order to solve each individual verse combination, you can just keep it really simple.

JM
It is a book that is sort of a game. It’s comprised of different types of puzzles, there’s reverses in there. There’s acrostic puzzles, there’s single letter abbreviations for things, there’s picture puzzles, there’s all kinds of stuff in there. There’s probably stuff in there that we’ve even missed because living in this day and age does somewhat hinder your ability to think simply, there’s just so much information out there, that it’s real easy to follow the rabbit hole down, down down so to speak. I don’t know if a lot of you People will understand what we mean by keeping it simple in the sense of, you know, 35 years ago versus what we consider simple now, I mean, the puzzles have simple solutions. The question is how do you take those individual solutions to those individual puzzles and apply them to the treasure site as a whole to finding the exact spot you need to be at? And I think we’ll get into more of that as we get into the puzzles themselves. Now, I didn’t want to get into any individual puzzles, per se, on this episode, although we will start next episode discussing Chicago and or Cleveland. But, but for this, I mean, what is your take on? Have you read the full story? The whole book?

George Ward
I have? Yeah, I mean, it’s an OK story. There are some things in the in the story itself, that might be clues there, you know, some images that are drawn outside of the paintings, that could be clues in the books, okay. It’s kind

JM
of a Dungeons and Dragons kind of story, if you’re into that. And again, that was, you know, that was price his whole thing he was he was making games like Dragon World. And you know, some of these Choose Your Own Adventure books. He was working on them. And I think he didn’t he worked for National Lampoon, or maybe some of his team were working for National Lampoon. So there’s a an element of sarcastic comedy to the story. The basis of the story was that these fair folk disappeared when man came over, and they buried their treasures. And there’s hints in these drawings, and these illustrations and these verses, that will lead you to the location of the burial of their, their prize, which was for each, each one of the 12, there was a gym. And we now know that they correspond to the 12 different birthstones of the month. And that was basically it, it was kind of a simple way to put out a treasure hunt, it was based, or inspired by Masquerade. I think that a lot of the tools that I explained earlier about how masquerade is done can be applied to working on the secret as well, some of the websites out there like quest for treasure and the 12. And the wiki site, which is very popular. There’s all kinds of theories. And as I was saying, Before, it was very hard to Meyer through all of the information that was out there. There’s some really crazy random theories out there. And there’s also some stuff that’s kind of right on point. But nowhere is there really an explanation of how do you do these puzzles. And through the years, people have come up with their own ways of figuring them out. And then there’s some people who have come up with logical ways to figure them out based on information in the book, and logical information provided in the drawings. And I think that part of the problem that we face today is that someone who is brand new coming into the Treasure Hunt, who may not be 30, or 40, or 50 years old, or have lived through the 80s, and 90s, they kind of start in the middle, because they pick up on the hunt through one of these websites. And there’s a certain amount of information that is already given to you like the job of that hunter in the book is to take these 12 images and these 12 verses and with one of each, you can find a treasure cast. So the first thing you have to do is you have to match up one of the verses with the correct illustration. And a lot of this stuff is now done for you. And it’s put up online. And what happens is by not completing those first few steps, you come into the middle of something that you don’t know how to do in the first place. And the process of matching the image with the verse and figuring out what city it’s in, and then figuring out by the city, which verse gets matched with which illustration is all part of the learning process. And also, if you don’t know anything about masquerade, you have no idea where the inspiration came from. So you’re really handed a bunch of matched items. And most of the time, people will pick one city and just try and figure that out. Whereas you really need to take a look at all 12 of them before you can really get an idea of what he’s doing. What’s going on here. Did you start with just one when you started this?

George Ward
I did. I started with St. Augustine and I ran into that problem where when when it first started, it seemed like people had the puzzle like 75% figured out so I needed to come on and that 75% And then figure out the remaining 25% I spent maybe Two years trying to do that, until I realized that the first 75% was just wrong. Or maybe not even the whole 75% it was just the first step was wrong. And if the first step is wrong, the second steps wrong and the third steps are wrong. It just keeps going. I had to go back and rethink the entire thing. And that’s when I came up with everything is simply stupid. Just go step by step. And you figure it out.

JM
Many times you’ve said to me, you thought he was he was just bad at making a puzzle. Oh,

George Ward
he’s horrible. He’s horrible at making puzzles. And everybody is on their first puzzle. Everybody’s horrible. He overthought things, and he used clothes that aren’t going to be around for very long. I mean, look at St. Augustine. St. Augustine seems like an old city. It’s It’s the oldest city in America. Right. But everything is new. Everything there has been built in the last 10 years. So he didn’t choose landmarks. That would be around in 30 years. Of course, I guess he didn’t, he didn’t think the puzzle would be around in 30 years. Yeah, that’s

JM
true. And one of the things that we well, one of the first things we do is when we, as a team, when we come up with a theory or a thought, or we find something, the very first thing that everybody does is try to figure out whether that particular thing was even there in 1982. It’s like the first step of everything we do. But going back further than that, even you have to know how to do the puzzle. And how do you figure out how to do the puzzle, there’s very few instructions given there are a couple of pages in the beginning one of the pages, just that kind of a picture of the casque and the key and some jewels up on top, and it says a dozen painting share the clues, yet fairy secrets come in twos. Now that second line is very important when you start to get into decoding the puzzle. But let me continue to sing a happy treasure song to have a casque to you belong. Wed one picture with one verse four fair folks piece, goodness first, even the instructions are put to you in a riddle form. And there’s two major things that you can take, if not more from from just that part. So you’re given that piece of instruction. And then also, you’re given, it’s a picture of a verse, it’s black and white. And it says the treasure now the story is told set for eternity and Daesil. But man, his numbers quickly grew. And so the fair folk come to you with their challenge and a pact to match 12 verses with the sight of paintings 12 and color light. The rest of it a pair will lead you to the casque a little digging is your task for treasure shining moon glow, Amber emeralds, dark and Ruby embers, to find the keys is your reward for fairy peace, the real accord. So in that one again, he’s telling you to match the 12 paintings with the verses in a more clear sense here, he tells you the jest of the story. When man came, the fair folk disappeared. And this is their challenge to you is here’s the 12 illustrations, here are the 12 verses, match them up, and they’ll bring you to the gym. So you have this page. And then you have the other page, which sort of reiterates a couple of the things in the previous page. But the second one is sort of a riddle in in the sense now when you read these did I mean did you take them as instructions, I think we all kind of took them as the instructions other than the main rules in the back, which are clearly given out stating how deep the casque could be buried where it where you wouldn’t find it and what to do if you thought you found it or found it the page that you would send into the author. But as far as these first few pages when you read these, did you take them as kind of the instructions?

George Ward
Yeah, I kind of took them at face value. I didn’t put too much thought into the instructions. It’s like, here’s what He wants you to do. Just go do these things.

JM
I mean, the same thing with me I when I read them, I just okay, this is some, some weird part of the story that he’s he’s trying to mold this into the story, but it gives you some kind of starting point of what to do. And as we went through these and decoded them and used our years and years of knowledge and hours and hours of work and research, to sit down and look at these things, as you did kind of start over from the beginning. A couple of verses in these two pages kind of jumped out at least at me. One of them was The line yet fairy secrets come in twos at face value. That would seem like oh, yeah, twos, you know, you gotta match one picture with one verse. But what I found out is, he always does the same riddle or puzzle two times. So in other words, you’ll never see a Rebus code alone by itself, there’s there’s always two, you’ll never see an acrostic puzzle only once. There’s two of them. There’s there’s one in St. Augustine, there’s one, which is verse nine. And then there’s another one in verse five. There’s two rebuses. There’s one in image 10. And then there’s another an image three. So very secrets come in twos means that I’m going to do something twice, just like the Chicago verse, he uses single letters for the abbreviations of last names. And then he does the same thing in verse 10, which is the suspected New York puzzle, where he uses single letters to stand for words or abbreviations, and one would think, in the Chicago verse, which is verse 12. They’re all last names. So you would think in verse 10, they would also be all of the same type of thing. We keep seeing this pattern with a lot of these puzzles that they’re always done twice. I mean, would you agree with that?

George Ward
I do agree with that. And even in, even in some of the paintings, there’s the name of the city and one painting, there’s the name of the city and another painting, things are written out in certain ways. Things are laid out in certain ways. The the layout of two paintings are almost identical.

JM
There’s a lot of similarities between pairs of, of images, and a lot of similarities between pairs of verses, even going down the rabbit hole, which we’ll get into when we decode the individual cities, there’s a lot more metadata that we find going into that as well. But for let’s just stick with the simple for now, as you say, another one of the lines in here is wed one picture with one verse again, on the surface, it seems like pretty straightforward. Yeah, you take one picture, and you put it with one verse, but one of the things that we start to find, and I would say most of the images, not all of them, but most of them have a left hand, and all of them have a jewel. So what do you do when you wed someone you put a jewel on the left hand, one could take it as an instruction to do something. I mean, it’s a lot of this is up to interpretation, and it is a puzzle. So there’s going to be a lot of trial and error. Have you found any other lines in these instructions that can apply to anything?

George Ward
No, and I try not to think about it that way. I try to stay simple. I figure the people who solve Chicago, they didn’t know any of this. So you shouldn’t have to, to solve the puzzle. So I feel like if I go in completely fresh, not knowing anything, with no clues, I’ll have the same chance to people in Chicago that

JM
you One would think that, but I’m gonna pose this to you in in an article in the St. Louis Post, I think it was October of I want to say October of 83. I don’t know the exact date. But there was a a interview with price in the St. Louis Post where he did state clearly in the interview, and it’s a quote, the gyms that are worth more will be harder to find. So right there, we know that some are going to be easier than others. Now, I truly believe that. And like I said earlier, you don’t, Brian and Andy and the guys in Chicago, Eric and Rob and Dave, proved that you don’t need to solve the puzzle completely to find a casque at least not those casks. However, I firmly believe and I’ve seen this, that they do get harder, whether it’s which Park they’re in trying to find the park, whether it’s trying to find the spot in the park, whether it’s trying to decode something like under that, which will be last touched or first seen standing. The clues and the riddles and the puzzles get harder. I’ve studied that Rebus puzzle in Roanoke now for almost a year and I still can’t figure out what it is what it says. You know, and I don’t know if if it’s because I can’t figure out what the images are. Or if I don’t know the correct way to read them. I’ve come up with a number of solutions that they could be in None of them really helped me to find a casque on site in the Outer Banks, so I think they do get harder. But as you said he he may have just been very bad at making a puzzle. And maybe you don’t even need to know how to solve the thing to find a treasure casque I want to solve it just for say that we solved it, you may be right, maybe you don’t need to know all of the clues to dig one

George Ward
up, it obviously helps if there’s sort of an overarching theory about how everything works, it helps in the future. But I don’t think it’s a no all be all you have to know, you know, the whole theory of the entire puzzle to solve it.

JM
Right. And to this day, I mean, we we know, we know that there are certain themes that are followed in every single one of the 12 puzzles, there’s,

in each one, there’s a certain order that you need to figure things out in to do it correctly. And the first thing that you need to figure out is which city is applied to which image, because you may be able to match a verse, here and there. And maybe if you grew up in one of the cities where there is one, you could match up that verse with the city, but for the most part, it was intended that the images would give you the name of the city. And then from knowing the name of the city, you could apply that information to the verse to then figure out how to pair up the image with the verse. And then once you did that, there’s a few more steps, which we’ll get into later about how you go and find the actual park that you’re looking for. How did once you know that it’s in Chicago? Then how do you get to the spot where the treasure is located, and there’s, there’s certain overreaching themes that will get you to the park. And that seems to be it. When you get to the actual park that you’re supposed to be in, then each one of these things seem to be a little bit different now is like Masquerade? Is there a one key that ties everything together? That tells you the information you need to know, once you get to the park? I don’t know yet. We’re still trying to decode some of the stuff we found. And based on how masquerade worked, it’s very possible that there is some kind of key that can be applied. But, you know, to this date, everybody on the team, whether they agree or disagree with certain theories, we’ve not been able to find that that rock solid thing that says, Okay, this is it. They appear to all be individual puzzles, at some point, is that what you found as well? Yes. Like in St. Augustine. And again, maybe two of them work the same. And then two of them work similar. And then another two works similar, which we don’t know, because there’s only two of them that have been pulled up so far. But I can say for a fact that the two that were pulled up, all of the clues were not found and and all of the the puzzle parts were not put together, they just found the thing that you needed to find to find the casque. And they were able to dig it up. And as I illustrated in the intro, they didn’t do it on the first attempt, neither party did the guys in Chicago had some help, obviously. And then, of course, Brian and Andy tore up that entire planter box until they got you know, from one side to the other until they found the Plexiglas and then eventually stumbled onto it. The ironic thing is that in the interviews given I think it was quoted by Palin car and or price that Brian and Andy did find all the clues. And Brian told me himself that when he sat down and talked to Byron, that he told them that they found everything. And we’ve now since then gone on to find out that no, they didn’t find everything. And I mean, it wasn’t of Byron’s benefit, to keep giving out clues and helping people with the hunt. You know, 1520 years later, there was no benefit at all to him to continue to help people I think he was just obliging his his commitment from making the puzzle. Okay, so there’s a few more sections in the book that we can discuss. There’s a couple sections in the beginning before you actually get to the actual verses and images, and the story itself. There’s three sections There’s one called the passage to the new world. This is the section that introduces you to the fair folk and the creatures from the old world who brought their treasures with them. And it gives you a brief history of the characters in the story where they came from. There’s even a little chart in there showing where each one came from. There’s illustrations on each page, which take from the images, such as the castles on pages, 12, and 13, which look a lot like image five and the butterflies and palm trees on page 17, which resemble a lot of the things found in Image two. And on site on page 14, there’s brownie and the gin which are listed sequentially, with brownie being the name of the fountain in Houston, and the gin being the fairy and image eight. And then there’s another section called the litany of the jewels, which describes each one of the stones that can be found. And the country of origin of which they’re from, which appears to be another important part of solving the puzzle, at least that’s what Byron told Brian and Andy is that the cultural reference is actually important in the location, which we’re slowly coming to find out that that’s true as well with Abraham Lincoln, having some Irish background, and then the Cleveland cultural gardens, the Greek gardens containing the casque from Image four, and then there’s a chapter called The vanishing. And this is a section of the book that which tells how the original fair folk interacted with the Native Americans when they arrived. And it gives an account of how and why the shining ones as as he calls them in the story vanished and where they went to. And there’s some interesting clues given in this section as well. He gives a little little kind of clues that, that don’t, they help you along, but they don’t give you any kind of precise information. And then basically, after that section, he goes into the summation, which is what I read you before about the treasure now the story is told, and a little digging is your task, which is bullshit, because I’ve put like 24 holes in the ground and Milwaukee and took me all day to dig some of them. And there’s nothing little about it. Obviously, I was not in the right spot. So maybe if I was, it would have been a little digging. But how much digging? Have you done a little? Or a lot?

George Ward
No, God, I’ve dug up every single space of land around the fountain of youth. So many felonies. I’ve committed so many felonies.

JM
Yeah, I think you and me both the parks department is openly hostile towards me. Well, you could say. But yeah, and it’s interesting, because the fountain of youth is actually given in the end of that, that last part of the story and the vanishing, he actually calls it out by name. So and like you said, the word the word Boston is contained in one of the illustrations and Mark even found the the 982 train. And one of the illustrations,

George Ward
I think something that’s important about that is there are a lot of little clues, like there’s a picture of the back of what looks like a pirate ship to most anybody that would just be an illustration. And if you’re from St. Augustine in the 80s, you realize that that’s from an advertisement for the fountain of youth that was super huge on a billboard right outside of the entrance to the fountain of youth. There’s a lot of little stuff like that in the first part of the

JM
book. Yeah, I agree. And he also seems to use a lot of, you know, tourist maps and visitor guides, and not to mention some of the literary quotes that he puts in there. There’s a lot of little clues given out in the illustrations in the images in the story. But it doesn’t really become apparent to you that that’s what that is until you’ve studied some of these sites. And and they’ve even been to some of these sites,

George Ward
like we were saying before, about how people just kind of jump in towards the middle. There’s this misconception that’s going on, on all the sites that that Price said you don’t have to have the story doesn’t have any, anything to do with the puzzle. So you don’t have to read the story to be able to solve the puzzle. And that’s true, you don’t have to. But the story, the sections before the puzzle contain a lot of clues that are helpful.

JM
You can get some stuff from those other parts of the book. It’s a proven fact that you don’t even have to solve all the clues to find a casque you don’t have to. But there are things contained within the book itself that can help you along the way just to clear up a few more of these misconceptions. Biron price never said that he thought that all of these would be found in the first 30 days. What his quote was, is that he felt that one of them may even be found in the next 30 days. Some of them may never be found. So again, he’s illustrating that there is a degree of difficulty going on with these some are easier than others. One of them might be found in the next month, one of them might never be found. There’s another misconception going around that states that all of these are super simple that they were made for kids. And that’s not true either. These are not simple puzzles. There’s simplicity in them. There’s simplicity in what you’re looking for when your boots on the ground, but they’re not easy. I mean, they’re not made for a nine year old, you have to have some degree of intelligence, and you have to have some knack for solving puzzles, to really be able to understand how these things work. Now, how long did it take you? When you when you first started? Before you knew anything about it? Like you said, you kind of jumped in in the middle, and then you had to go back and relearn it. So how long did it take you during that relearning process. I mean, it took me at least a year to really get my head wrapped around it. And that was with the help of some pretty intelligent people.

George Ward
It took probably two years, until I realized that I was just completely wrong. And then once I went back to the beginning rethought everything, and put me on a different path, and it progressed pretty quickly. From there.

JM
Right, once once you started to look at it in the logical sense that it was a puzzle. I mean, did you also feel that it was, were you looking at it as a puzzle? Or were you looking at it based on what you were reading from online, because I was taking a lot of false information that I was gleaning from reading the forums on quest for treasure, and on the wiki, and it just put me on the wrong path. I didn’t know what I was doing. There was nothing to people would say something about looking at the puzzle one way, and then I would try and apply that to Chicago or Cleveland, and it didn’t work. And I would sit there and say to myself, well, how can this be, if it doesn’t work here, it shouldn’t, it won’t work here, either. And, to some degree, we found out that the puzzles in each city are different. But there has to be some kind of common starting point. And that is what was lacking with all of the current sites and the current information out there. And that’s why when I look at people like Josh gates, or some of these others that are kind of jumping into this without doing any kind of study whatsoever, and they’re just taking information from online and applying it and applying that false information. And adding to it that like you said, if the first step is wrong, the second one’s going to be wrong. And then the third one is going to be wrong. So you have to go back and really try and understand how it worked. And for me, it was going back and starting over from the beginning. Okay, how do I know that this image is for this city? And then I’d figure that out, and then I’d move on to the next next image? How do I know that this image is for this city, I’d find the coordinates. And what I kept finding was that you could find 11 of the coordinates or 11 cities based on numbers. And then you had one that was completely different, had no numbers in it whatsoever. And it gave you a puzzle, I tried to apply some of that knowledge in learning how to do the puzzles, okay, he’s basically showing us that he’s going to give us the name of a city and each image, he does it the same way in 10 of them. And then in the 11th, he does it slightly different, but he’s still got you looking for numbers. Okay. And then in the 12th. One, there’s no numbers whatsoever, he’s got you looking at a completely different thing. Okay. And when you start to look at the other clues contained in the images, he does a lot of the same thing. I found city hall in Milwaukee. And then I found fort Sumner in Charleston. And then I find the the Chicago water tower in image five, I’m finding these iconic buildings, or the or at least these landmarks in these images. And then I’ll get to St. Augustine. And what’s there to find that is a landmark there’s, there’s almost nothing in that image that you can match up as a landmark if you go to New York City and everything is a landmark, you know, you look for for that same thing in Boston, and it’s not there, he’s doing something in the sense of showing you that he’s gonna give you something and then he gives it to you in a certain number of them to say look, this is a clue, you will find the name of the city here, you will find this you will find that and you will find the other thing and I’m going to give these things, these clues to you in the form of this until I don’t but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to find And that information in there. So in a sense, he’s kind of teaching you how to do the puzzle, as you decode it kind of like a video game that shows you how to play it by going through the first level by giving you little clues and hints. But you know, not as straightforward. So that’s I mean, that’s what I found with with trying to decode these is you find a piece of information that is contained in six or seven or eight of them. And then you start looking for, you know, say you’re looking for a building, or, say you’re looking for a set of coordinates, or you’re looking for a handout, or you know what I mean, you’re looking for something that he’s given you in seven, or eight or nine or 10 of them even, and then you don’t find it. So does that mean it’s not there? Or does that mean, it’s just given in a different form some things that he was giving you in the images, he then gives you in the Verse, but the information is always there, we’ve gone over a lot of the misconceptions that have been given, either by people coming up with their own ideas, and then forcing them onto the treasure hunting community, or by people misquoting newspaper articles, things that Byron said, and twisting them around a little bit. But overall, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about how the puzzle works, how easy or hard it is, and the things that you need to know about doing the puzzle. So in the next episode, we will start to get into Cleveland. And hopefully, we’ll have Brian and Andy on to join us and give their story about the find. And we’ll talk with them a little bit about what they did to come up with the spot to dig in. And then what we’ve learned since then, and of course, if a hurricane doesn’t hit you, you’ll be with us as well. Yes,

I will be there. I want to thank you all for tuning in to this pilot episode of The Secret podcast burn style, and I will be doing 12 More of these episodes, you can catch one per month for the next year. On each of the future episodes, we are going to have a poignant, special guest who will join us to discuss each of the cities as we go forward. And we will start with the two found so that we can illustrate some of the things that you need to look for when looking for the unfound casts. We’ll do 12 of these episodes, like I said one per month. Although we are in agreement on many things. Mr. Bernstein is here to provide an alternate viewpoint on how these things could and should be done. We agree on a lot of things, but there are a lot of things that we don’t agree on and that makes for good debate. So on behalf of my co host, my name is JM and we will see you next time on The Secret podcast. Thank you for joining us. Tune in for the next episode of The Secret podcast.

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George Ward

JM

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