The Secret: Another Solution

The Secret: A Treasure Hunt by Byron Preiss is one of the most famous treasure hunts out there. As a resident of New York, I’ve always been interested with Image 12 and Verse 10, which are thought to be in NYC. If you don’t know much about it, check it out here. I released a possible solution to the NY casque before, but I received another great solution by a man named George. I think his solution should get some consideration, so I’m going to show it to you guys. Along the way, I’ll offer a little of my own opinion. Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

I think we all agree it’s in NYC. But George think it is specifically Brooklyn. Co-authors Kelly and Mann are from Montreal, believed to be a casque location. JJP was born 20 minutes from the Cleveland find. Byron Preiss was born in Brooklyn. So Brooklyn makes sense.

Other reasons we know it is in NYC: the bird has an eagle face identical to the eagle in Ellis Island and the body of a gull. Ellis Island was originally called Gull Island. Also, George believes the orthodox church in the image refers to Brooklyn being called “The Borough of Churches.” I think the orthodox church is just another reference to Ellis Island since it looks exactly like it. However, the waves, he says may refer to the neighborhood Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, where he thinks the casque is.

According to this solution, the grey giant is actually the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The arched shape of the image actually resembles the bridge.

Image result for Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge"

The arm is the bridge deck and the slender path is The Narrows. Meanwhile, George thinks the whirring is from the flap of bird wings. In his solution, there are a bunch of birds around. I think it could just as easily be cars, which are “abound.” But that’s not too important.

The sign nearby speaks of Indies native Alexander Hamilton. I think most of us agree with that. However, it is his opinion this specifically refers to the Fort Hamilton Library. This also refers to the line about 3 Vols. Fort Hamilton Library is made of 3 words. Word and volumes are of course associated with libraries. I think also the fact that volumes is abbreviated Vols. could be a reference to the fact that Fort Hamilton can be abbreviated Ft. Hamilton.

The walking part is straightforward. The branch in the text refers to the library. If you walk from the entrance of the library, there is a small plot of grass and shrubs as part of the Ft. Hamilton Triangle Park. The park is also called Pigeon Park, thus the whirring of bird wings.

What tricks a lot of people is the rhapsodic man and simple roots. In the vestibule of the library is a placard, which talks about Mrs. Gelstin of Shore Road, who with a capital of faith and 5 dollars, donated a collection of books to open the Fort Hamilton Free Library. Simple roots. I think it could refer to that, but also to a tree or bush, where the casque literally is.

As for the rhapsodic man, in 1901, the Ft. Hamilton Library became one of Brooklyn’s first Carnegie Libraries. Carnegie Hall is a famous place for music, so that’s rhapsodic man’s soil. But I really don’t know about this one? This line has always been a mystery to me. It could be Carnegie, but I feel like it’s a little bit of a stretch. But hey. What do I know?

Finally, the Isle of B is Bedloe Island, the former name of Liberty Island.

More clues can be found from the image. The reddish rectangle framed in gray resembles the main entrance of the Ft. Hamilton Library. In 1980, the door was reddish with a limestone door. I know all doors have the shape, but the coloring is pretty particular.

Image result for fort hamilton library"

What’s more the 3 drops of water by the woman’s robe in the image may represent the 2 acorn shape lights by the library and the streetlight by the curb. The jewel is the casque. If you go to the casque site, the lights match the angle and perspective of the water droplets.

So what do you guys think? I believe everything in the image is supposed to be visible from the dig site. Since I don’t think you can see Lady Liberty or Ellis Island from the dig site, I hold a little suspicion. But in my opinion, there are a lot of interesting points in this solve.

23 thoughts on “The Secret: Another Solution

  1. And on the first day of the new time change, comes the time for new change, and getting this NYC buried casque out of the ground is the new change we are all craving. I wish you all well in trying to find this NYC buried casque, and say to you all –

    Look for that V near the base of the arm
    And 22 steps east later you will be more than just warm
    Then Look Down slowly so you will not miss
    The digging spot under manicured bricks
    Where you can look north to see the isle of B.
    Whose man’s soil grows simple roots, as you can see
    As well as the grey giant, and an old rusty sign
    That shows the Hard word and the “him” right behind
    With summer whirring and cars blurring also there
    So when you discover, and if you dare
    To uncover this treasure under stone, in cold soil
    You will need to dig quickly, with purpose & toil
    But the reward will be something that you will reveal
    Is the answer to this puzzle, that this treasure is real


    1. I’m listening. I’m unsure about manicured bricks. I went to the library yesterday and have a good idea where to dig. Could you share more?


      1. This buried casque is no where near a library. If you want to go dig a hole here in NYC, I would suggest you re-think your approach to the clues. Please note that this casque was buried back in 1981, so there has been some work done at this spot that has turned this spot into a more clean & modern looking spot then when Byron buried this in 1981.

        One thing I can point out is reading the last 4 lines of the verse correctly from a grammatical standpoint – re-read what I wrote to see if you can figure this out. Gershwin has nothing to do with these clues, and if you read the grammar correctly, you will see what I mean by this.

        Good luck with your hunt !!


        1. How do you know all of this? For simple roots I thought that might be a mathematical pun to mean “squares” or something like squares on the ground. ‘rhapsodic mans’ grammatically would be something like excited men (plural) or there’s also the Queens guess but you’re saying it’s not in NYC? I’m not from there, what is technically NYC and what isn’t?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You have your apostrophe in the wrong place Ryan – it is man’s, not mans’. Check all of the grammar on the last 4 lines of the verse – this will tell you exactly what is being asked at this point in the verse from the book.

            Look at a map on your NYC question – New York City consists of 5 boroughs. And I did not say this casque is not buried in NYC, I said it was not buried near a library, as Pam thought it was. It is in NYC.

            Keep up the hunt Ryan, and have fun doing it !!

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “If you want to go dig a hole here in NYC, I would suggest you re-think your approach to the clues.” Sorry, I mistook this as you meaning it was incorrect to want to dig in NYC. Thanks for the heads up on the apostrophe; it turns out I was working with a bad copy of the verse and not the real McCoy.

          “Where you can look north to see the isle of B.
          Whose man’s soil grows simple roots, as you can see”

          Are you saying the isle of B’s man’s soil grows simple roots? I was under the impression that the dig spot (Look Down) is where the rhapsodic man’s soil growing simple roots was and that you could look North to see the Isle of B. Can you clarify this please? Thanks.


          1. Read the last 4 lines of the book verse –

            And see simple roots
            In rhapsodic man’s soil
            Or gaze north
            Toward the isle of B.

            If you see the grammar here, you will see the most important word in this clue (not clues) is “OR”.

            This one little word melds these 4 lines into one clue, the way that Byron wants us to understand this clue.

            Let me know if you now understand what Byron is saying here in the verse.

            Liked by 1 person

        3. Initially I took it to mean that from the middle of one branch of the V, you take 22 steps East (whatever that is) and you could look down at the ground to see simple roots in rhapsodic man’s soil OR you could gaze (look) North to the Isle of B.

          After re-reading it with your input I guess I could also interpret it as on one branch of the V you look down and see simple roots in rhapsodic soil. on the OTHER branch of the V you would end up gazing north to the isle of B. So that OR isn’t referring to what you can see from the dig spot, but what you see depending on which branch of the V you take. Which would make sense if one branch sent you up say Shore Rd and the other towards McKinley park or any of the other streets that would make a V with Shore Rd. In either case it’s hard to figure out at what point you take the 22 steps East from.

          Coincidentally I’m interested in McKinley park because it’s 22 streets up Fort Hamilton Pkwy and that’s also 74th street. I think there is a 74 in the water of image 10, but it’s hard to tell. I just wouldn’t have a clue from there. Go look for squares in the ground to dig up? lol.

          Anyway if there was a different interpretation to your OR then I don’t think I caught it.


          1. When Byron uses “OR:, he is saying that each set of 2 lines represents the same thing.

            The “Look Down” clue has no connection to the last 4 lines. Byron is just saying “Look Down”, meaning you are on the spot to dig. If Byron was using correct punctuation, he would have put a period after “Look Down.”

            And see simple roots
            In rhapsodic man’s soil
            OR gaze north
            Toward the isle of B.

            Take away the OR, reverse the 2 sets of lines, and find the true meaning of what Byron wants us to read.

            As for that whole V thought process you wrote about, all I can say is that 22 steps east is spot on from the middle section of one branch of the V – just as Byron implies in the verse. Which means that the V isn’t really as big as you think it is in your solution as shown on your last post.

            The 74 in the water is just the longitude of NYC, and is not a clue to help you find the dig spot, just the city the painting refers to.

            And if you find this spot, you won’t dig up squares – they will be rectangles, or bricks at this time – which were not there when Byron buried this casque.

            Hope I helped you out on this. Good luck in your hunt !!


        4. If I may ask, how is it that you know where it is and haven’t dug it up yourself? How do you know what Byron meant?


        5. I’m fairly certain that I have the location now, although the specific V is a bit fuzzy as you can mistake many things for a V. I would want to walk around the area to narrow it down. Anyway the site is in Manhattan not far from Central Park and I don’t think anyone could dig there without getting arrested as there’s just no cover. I guess I’ll just sit and wait for someone to dig it up to confirm. I get the rhapsodic man’s (3 volumes) soil now obviously with the indie native (not really) nearby. Thanks for all the help 🙂


        6. So I’ve been pouring over the verse and image like a madman this last week trying to nail down my location and I keep waffling back and forth between two places very close to each other. Each fits the clues and images fairly well, but neither seems to fit them exactly. I’ve got a good guess on what the colored dots and bird mean and it fits both my spots depending on how I interpret it (the print quality is not great). And the fact that so much has changed in the last 40 years doesn’t help. Do you have any more hints you’d be willing to divulge?


          1. Based upon your earlier post saying you thought the spot was near Central Park, and now saying you have 2 solutions close to each other, I would say based upon what you have found, the only thing left is to get out and walk around to see the clues come to life in front of your eyes. If you have not done this yet, you will never know if either of your solutions is something to build on.

            As you probably have also seen thru searching for things on the web, there are maybe dozens, if not hundreds of points of view on where the NYC casque is buried from other people, and if you feel like maybe no one else has your specific view on the clues as you interpret them, then continue with your search. I will say that my solution seems spot on (if you have also noticed, all of us NY’ers think we all have the correct solution to this buried casque – lol), and I at first could not believe that I was the first person in almost 40 years to come up with my solution, but it sure seems like that may be the case. Does that make me a genius interpreter, or maybe just another crazy know-it-all NY’er ??

            Not sure, but I will say this – the painting panels at the top are a map of where you should geographically be when you start your walk thru the clues, and if you figure this out, you will find the slender path is the exact spot that you see it as it shows in the painting. Once you find the slender path, all the other clues will fall right into place and are all within eye-sight of the buried casque spot. Again, this is my solve on this puzzle, and I am not sure if this insight will help you out, but just remember, this book was made with both kids and adults in mind, so the clues are much simpler to interpret than it seems everyone seems to be aiming for. NY’ers might be know-it-alls, but this casque is still buried somewhere here in the 5 boroughs, so how much do we really all know ??

            Liked by 2 people

        7. Yeah, I had figured out the top panels were putting you at a starting point. From the “map” I got a line between two points so it’s not an exact spot; however, that line crosses directly over one of my potential spots. So geographically it gives me a place to start, but who knows if I’m interpreting it correctly. Did your interpretation give you an exact spot? The way I interpreted it might be too difficult for a kid to work out so maybe I should go back and look for something simpler. Coincidentally one of my spots does have rectangular tiles over the dig spot like you said. I’m about 4-5 hours drive from NYC unfortunately but I’m eager to get out and scope my potential spots, but I’ll probably wait a bit for COVID to continue dying down (hopefully). I really do need to get feet on the ground as I can only do so much from streetviews and old maps, haha.


          1. You are correct – no way you are really going to be able to solve anything definitively without doing a physical, on the ground walk-through of your solution.

            Also remember, Byron did this in 1981 – there was no internet, google maps, etc – for him to use. You might be able to get a general starting spot using online research, but unless you walk thru what you found – which is exactly what Byron had to do – you are just going to drive yourself crazy trying to get anything solid, not being able to walk around and see your clues in your own eyes.

            Keep hunting as best as you can, and when NYC gets over the COVID-19 curve (which is a big part why I have not found the best time to go dig this cask up yet), come visit NYC and walk thru your interpretation – which is exactly what Byron wanted everyone to do. Finding the real treasure – the buried casque – was only part of the riches you will find in your hunt for it’s location. Happy hunting !!

            Liked by 1 person

        8. You’re quite correct about the real treasure. I’ve learned far more about the geography and history of NYC in the last two weeks than I’ve accrued throughout my life. I actually know where the ESB and Chrysler buildings are now, lol. I kind of want to go sightseeing to all of these places now that I’ve researched them.

          Personally I don’t have much interest in digging up the NYC cask. Seems like way too much trouble. For me solving the puzzle is what gives me my rush. As long as someone digs it up and it’s near my spot I’ll be happy. One I may actually try for is the Montreal cask. I’ve been playing around with that one when I need a break from this one. I have a couple ideas there. I’m wondering if the Canadians would go easier on arresting me than the NYPD would, haha. Thanks for your help, Euey, and if you want to stay in touch or let me know how your dig and potential arrest (lol) go feel free to reach out. Again, thanks for the help. email is *K* between my first and last at gmail.


          1. Hi Ryan, my name is Linda and I also have been working on this treasure hunt, I have come up with a few different ideas, thought I would share and see what you think. I got some hints from the Japanese man who had actually got hints from Byron Preiss himself. I will add link at the end of this message.

            Line 6: whirring sound, Byron says it is something that needs the power of humans to run.
            I think either helicopters or the ferries

            Line 12: Of him of Hard word in 3 vols, Byron says you must play with words and the start is chicken. Eventually, you will end up at the name of the person who is referred to by him.
            This one drove me crazy for a while but I think it is Henry Hudson, if you look him up in wikipedia you will see in the small profile on the right hand side of page, Henderick is Dutch for Henry, and the name Henderick has every letter of the word chicken in it.

            Line 19: rhapsodic man’s soil, Byron says; Rhapsodic man is man of epics, from the the rhapsodic, think of a famous song then you will know that the rhapsodic man is the man that wrote that song.
            Every one automatically thinks of the song “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershin, but he is not an immigrant, he was born in Brooklyn, and the whole book is based on immigrants.
            I think the rhapsotic man is Irving Berlin and the song is “God Bless America” he was an immigrant, and being brought to New York as a child he lived and died in Manhatten. Rhapsodic man’s soil ? I think so !

            I have a lot more thoughts on the rest of lines of verse but I will start with these for now.
            Please let me know your thoughts after reading this.

            Below is the link to the Japanese hints


  2. Image 12 Verse 9
    Waterfront Park / Battery Park, Burlington, Vermont

    Image 2 Verse 10
    Richmond County Bank Ballpark, Staten Island, NY
    In summer
    You’ll often hear a whirring sound
    Ground keeper mowing the ballfield


  3. These solutions seem plausible, but the fact that all the clues cannot be seen from the proposed site is telling. My solution ( my daughters too) on this blog takes into account all the images and verses, even the colorful mosaic panels in the painting. It’s a fact that this puzzle is all about immigration, and the Battery is where it all took place prior to Ellis is.. From Battery Park the clock tower, minerats, eagle, et al can be seen from my proposed site. (There have been some changes in the40 years or so since the treasure was buried). Also the “ twice as many steps” clue works perfectly with the eagle statue in the park. Alas , it’s NYC, so only a Josh Gates or someone similar could cut the miles of red tape surrounding any dig attempt. CHEECH

    Liked by 1 person

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