The Secret Solved?

After I posted about Byron Preiss’s The Secret (A Treasure Hunt), there has been much discussion about where exactly the NYC treasure might be buried. Just the other day, I received an email from a reader who thinks he knows where the treasure is buried. As a reminder, here is the verse and image associated with the NYC treasure:

In the shadow

Of the grey giant

Find the arm that

Extends over the slender path

In summer

You’ll often hear a whirring sound

Cars abound

Although the sign


Speaks of Indies native

The natives still speak

Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.

Take twice as many east steps as the hour

Or more

From the middle of one branch

Of the v

Look down

And see simple roots

In rhapsodic man’s soil

Or gaze north

Toward the isle of B.


And here is where the reader thinks the treasure is buried. If you look from “simple roots,” this is what you would see:


This is Battery Park. It is in the shadow of the grey giant, the World Trade Center, which was still standing in Preiss’s time. The Immigrants statue has an arm that points down a path that was once slender. There are many cars whirring in the Battery Park Underpass underneath the park. Nearby is the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House. Hamilton of course was from the Indies. The middle of one branch of the V would be the WWII Memorial. If you take twice as many east steps as the hour (22 steps) or more, you end up by a tree. North of you is the Isle of B, the Battery, which was once an island. From this place you can see many images in the picture: Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, the bird, water, and so on.

The powers that be won’t allow anyone to dig, not legally anyways. Regardless, what do you think? Is this where the treasure was buried?


63 thoughts on “The Secret Solved?

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  1. Thanks for uploading that picture Andrew. Yes, I feel 22 east steps from the rear of the memorial is the place the box was buried in the early eighties. If you start at the middle of the branch of the eagles wing or the wreath it perches upon, the steps will be more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe the grey giant is severely misinterpreted. I went to the same high school as the author and have explored all of the places he alluded to in my youth. I am going on a dig next week. I will post when I finish.


  2. Great thought, never considered it. Bowling Green park where the bull is located is actually an island within roads itself, and it starts with a B just like flanking ‘B’roadway . The bull itself may post date the hunt. Its funny, neither that location (BG park), or Castle Clinton is truly N of my proposed site. Perhaps the direction is general, as the park is not in the litteral shadow of the former #2 WTC.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello! I think you are on to something, but The Immigrants statue, although sculpted in 1973, was not placed in the Park until 1983. Byron Preiss buried the casque earlier than that, probably in 1981 or 1982. I’m curious as to where the Giovanni da Verrazzano statue was positioned in 1981. Could he be the “grey giant”?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Where is the Verrazano statue? The Immigrants statue was ‘dedicated’ in may 1983. At that point all the finish work and concrete walks were in place. I could never find the actual installation date. If it is indeed the arm over the slender path clue, my guess is it was there prior to the official dedication with a foot path under the arm .


    1. Scott, you got me to look at the Immigrants statue and image 12 again. Pehaps a coincidence, but Lady Libertys left arm is the reverse of the arm on the immigrants statue. With Preiss and Palencar ‘one never knows’.


  5. I initially thought the Immigrants statue was key to solving this. It was commissioned by Samuel Rudin, who wanted it placed by Castle Clinton to honor his parents (who emigrated to the US when the Castle was the processing center for immigrants before Ellis Island). I believe George Gershwin to be the “rhapsodical man” in the Verse and that his parents emigrated through Castle Clinton as well, strengthening the connection. And I also believe the “man” in the waves in Image 12 bears a strong resemblance to the “immigrant” with the outstretched hand. However, I have been unable to find out when the statue was actually placed in the Park. All I know is that it was cast in 1973 and dedicated on May 4, 1983. Preiss had to be there almost 2 years before then. Is it possible that it was in the Park two years before it was officially dedicated?

    By the way, if you look at an aerial view of the Park, the Castle’s half-circle shape is similar to the “window-pane” shape at the top of the image.


  6. I believe it’s in Battery Park too. And I believe I know exactly where. Look at the birds legs. It’s a tree – a small tree with a very specific shape. There is a tree near Castle Clinton that looks just like it. In 1981, the walkway in front of Castle Clinton was a V. There was was another walkway in the middle that connected the 2. That is the branch. Walk 22 steps east from the middle and you get to the line of trees. In that line of trees (that are still there), the tree that I’m speaking of is also still there. If you look at the shape above the statue for this verse, it is Castle Clinton. The blue circles, I believe, represent the aquarium that was once there. In that spot, at the right time of day, one of the towers of the WTC would have caused a shadow. The whirring noise is from the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, or possibly helicopter tours (there are 2 pads in that area), or from the many boats that are out during the summer months. The long arm is the flag pole that is still at the base of where the V was, and is opposite the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customers Office. At this location you are at the southern most point of NYC. If you turn north to see the Isle of B, you are looking at North Brother Island in NYC near the Bronx. Castle Clinton was built on a man-made island. It was filled in later, so much of Battery Park is man-made. Rhapsodic, to me, represents music. This area has been used throughout history as an amphitheater, opera house, and many concerts have taken place here from the 1980s on. If you use Google Map, and put yourself in Battery Park in front of Castle Clinton, and then go down the east walkway towards the flagpole, you will see the small tree I am speaking of. You can’t dig there. So I don’t know how anyone will ever find it. But the tree matches the eagle’s legs. / credentials can be used.


      1. Hello, Alayden! Have you had a chance to check out the possible site in Battery Park yet? Could you confirm which direction the shadows fall at 11? Would the Towers cast a shadow over that section of Battery Park in the “Summer” (like the Verse mentions)? Or are we looking for a different “grey giant”? Thanks!


    1. Hi, Lorri! You have an interesting theory. I believe you are in the same area my research has led me, but I can’t seem to find the exact tree you are identifying on Google Maps. Is it near the Jerusalem Grove? Can you see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the spot? Is the flag pole you are referencing the Marine Flagstaff or the Netherland Monument? You also made reference to the shadow being cast by the Towers at the “right time of day.” Could that time possibly be 11 AM? That’s the time on the clock in the Image. I think we’re getting closer to solving this!


  7. In the shadow

    Of the grey giant

    (Behind the statue of liberty)

    Find the arm that

    Extends over the slender path
    ( East River is slender than Hudson River) and Brooklyn bridge extends over the slender path


  8. In summer

    You’ll often hear a whirring sound

    Cars abound.

    I also found out that Brooklyn bridge made a funny noise that could be heard driving on the bridge and up under the bridge until they fix it


  9. Although the sign


    Speaks of Indies native

    Find a sign that have to do with native Indians or the east india company….


  10. The eagle
    The clock is on 11 and the Chrysler building was the tallest building for 11 months
    In the sky race all the buildings have that top that u see in D.4,5


    1. The church is similar to the spires on Ellis Island. The 11 is 11 Beaver Street where the sewer is that was pointed out on the Google map.


      1. If you interpret rhapsodic in terms of music. Most people in NYC really only know his name because of the clock in Central Park. It’s WAY too coincidental that he also donated money to the reconstruction of Bowling Green and how literally everything else points to that exact spot. Problem is that the squares in the arch of the picture refer to blue stone sidewalks which were placed in a very specific way, but were replaced in 2004. Unless we can find pictures of the park from prior to that year (good luck) I don’t know how else to pinpoint a different spot.


        1. It’s a possibility. I’ve considered Bowling Green as a possible place. But rhapsody refers to music of an irregular structure, often improvised. So it doesn’t seem very rhapsodic when music is literally played like clockwork


          1. Perhaps it is. But I think that’s a very specific and very rarely used word. There are lots of other words he could’ve used if he just meant musical


          2. In all honesty it’s really not even just that clue that brings me to that spot, it just fits in with everything else. That’s the only reason I’m really going with it! It basically ties everything together for me. Standing in a general spot, I can see everything in the painting.


          3. It’s difficult to avoid overreading riddles or filling in the gaps to fit our own assumptions. But I agree that Bowling Greens is a good spot. I doubt we can dig there, though haha


  11. My solve also led me to the East Coast Memorial. I’m not sure Cheech mentioned this above but the tip of the eagles wing is a match for the bottom of the dress. 22 steps also ties in with JFK who dedicated the memorial in the 60s. She offers her flower to the sea…as they lost their lives at sea. Her finger essentially points at the memorial.


  12. I know exactly where it was buried. Can’t get anyone to listen. All my documentation ignored. So, i decided to publish this in as many places as i can find on the web to get someone to listen.

    Byron Preiss – The Secret –
    Solution to Image 12 / Verse 10

    That spring day when Byron Preiss set out toward his chosen park, he stopped midblock, got out of his car and snapped a picture of the flat, stone, end wall of the multi-storied building, with its single unadorned, monolithic rectangular notch to accommodate door and windows. (click)

    Continuing down the block, past the immense gray building, he crossed the avenue and turned right. Halfway to the first intersecting street he turned left on the bicycle path into a small three sided park area and walked 50 to 60 feet to the center of the long V formed by the avenue and another street on two sides of the park.

    Turning left he was standing in front of a large stone monument. On it were recorded the three major contributions of this individual to his city. Words carved in hard stone. Below this on the left hand side was simply his date of birth. Shifting his gaze slightly to the left he was looking up the avenue directly toward the Isle of B. (click)

    Smiling, he re-crossed the avenue and continued on into the larger portion of the park where he encountered row upon row of flower beds in all their varied colors, (click) their round faces and darker centers abounding and a lovely small lake beyond. (click) To his left he saw the three turrets of one of the park buildings silhouetted against the late morning sun. (click)

    As he kept walking along the path he came to another street running through the park. While waiting to cross he heard a clock striking the hour and glancing to his left saw the two story clock tower a half block away. (click)

    Crossing the street and going further along the path he passed an immense skating rink, (click) quiet now with spring. Rounding the corner of the park he walked along the edge of a large body of water and looking back across the water he saw the cherry trees in bloom on both the peninsula and the island in the lake, beyond them he could still see the location of that rink of glacial proportions, the trees on the shore to the right of the island were not cherry trees, but green and lovely in their own way. (click)

    Continuing on he came to the next corner where the street sign reminded him of those who came before and where they were born. (click) Rounding this corner he came to one of the favored sites in the park with a view of the Statue of Liberty in the distance. (click)

    He continued past a third body of water (click) to the final corner of the park where he saw stone eagles surrounding a stone column, the mass of the column blocking the curve of the memorial arch beyond it. (click)

    Turning right he returned to his car, retrieved the box, walked back to the V shaped park, which was now being shaded by the immense gray building, counted his steps to the monument in the center and buried the box at the base of the monument below the date of birth. The man’s simple roots in this specific place.

    The monument was moved more than 25 years ago, and the treasure site is no longer accessible.

    It is Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Joseph A. Guider Monument, the bottom of the dress looks like the south end of the park, the head and arms are the Grand army circle, the western border and Flatbush Ave., three drops of water are, the Japanese Garden pond, Prospect Park Lake and what is now the dog beach. The clock tower is at 495 Flatbush., the east end of the brooklyn library is the ‘tower’ picture, the Brooklyn Museum is the grey giant. You can see the statue of liberty from the Litchfield Villa. I do love the Glacier representing the old skating rink, it was very large.

    Do I have to go on, will someone finally listen to me.


  13. Oh! forgot to say. The Isle of B. is Manhattan the Isle of “Broadway”, the most famous B. in New York. Everyone thought he was being obscure


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