The secret to finding buried treasure success could lie in a book written in the early 1980s. This fascinating book was written by Byron Preiss and a number of other collaborators. Preiss’s book The Secret: A Treasure Hunt! was published in 1982.
The book contains information about the whereabouts of 12 keys which Byron Preiss buried in various locations around North America and possibly Canada. When found, according to the author, each key can be turned into gems worth $1,000 each.
Unlike conventional maps, which buried treasure is typically synonymous with, the book contains a dozen paintings and poems. The different illustrations and verses lead the way to each of the keys. The only stipulation is that the locator of the key is willing to dig three feet underground and unearth a ceramic helmet which holds the key.
Doesn’t sound like too much of a burden for stumbling across a key worth $1,000!
Byron Preiss was the only person to know the exact location of the 12 keys. Sadly Preiss was killed in a car accident in 2005 meaning the only way to uncover the (1) top secret keys is through the wonderful illustrations and poems in his book.
According to (2) Newser, the American author was inspired by an earlier book of a similar theme.
Masquerade is a children’s book written by Kit Williams. Like Preiss’ book, Masquerade featured detailed illustrations. The book was centered on the story of a hare who aims to carry treasure from the Moon to the Sun. When “Jack Hare” arrives at the Sun, he has lost the treasure and it is up to the reader to discover its location.
William’s 1979 book paved the way for a new genre of books known as (3) Armchair Treasure Hunting. For a young Byron Preiss, William’s widely popular book was the fuel for his own magical Armchair Treasure Hunting creation.
Since The Secret: A Treasure Hunt was published more than 30 years ago, just two of the 12 casques have been unearthed.
The first was found by a group of students in Grant Park, Chicago in 1984. The (4) image accompanying the poem for the first located casque depicted a gnome-like warrior with a fairytale-esque castle sat on top of his helmet.
The (5) corresponding poem describes “fair folk” and finding a “jewel casque” by seeking the sounds of “rumble, brush, music and hush”.
What’s Ahead for the Treasure Hunter
The second of Preiss’ treasure was found in Cleveland in 2004 by two members of the (6) Quest4Treasure forum. The casque was found buried in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. The (7) painting that bred clue to the key’s location is of stone statue of two columns and a doorway and a centaur stood on top of the door holding a glowing urn. Behind the statue lies a dark and eerie wood.
The verse that accompanies the imagery in Preiss’ book describes a “curved road” and “steps” to “seek the columns” and “find the casque’s destination”.
The book has enjoyed a recent resurgence on the Internet. A fan of Preiss’ book since he was eight years old, James Renner is determined to find one of the keys.
So enthralled by the real-life treasure mystery, Renner is going to interview the three finders of the first of the casques in Chicago in 1984. Renner will then travel to the 12 different locations across North America and possibly Canada where the keys allegedly lie in the hope of unearthing real-life treasure.