There is talk about a lot of possible hidden treasure around the US - from Black Beard's personal stash to cowboy's lost gold, but most of these are just legend and speculation. One treasure map, however, is 100% real and has stumped treasure hunters for decades.
The Secret, published in 1982 by Byron Preiss, is a book comprised of illustrations and riddles subtly hinting at key features of the locations leading to 12 hidden treasures throughout the United States. Two treasures have since been found, one in Chicago (1983), and another in Cleveland (2004) - leaving 10 more yet to be unearthed.
In each location, Preiss, who has since passed away, buried ceramic casques that contain a key, which could (and still can be) redeemed for a precious jewel. According to the PBworks Wiki page, the Chicago jewel was a pricey Emerald, while the Cleveland jewel was an Aquamarine. The Florida jewel is supposedly a sapphire.
The sixth image in the book has been scrutinized top to bottom, and some people believe it leads to a specific location in St. Augustine, Florida. Can you gather that just from looking at this photo?
Additionally, there are several verses in the book that treasure hunters must correctly match to the respective photo. The verse thought to accompany this specific image is:
"The first chapter
Written in water
With wind rose
Behind bending branches
And a green picket fence
At the base of a tall tree
You can still hear the honking
Shell, limestone, silver, salt
Stars move by day
Sails pass by night
Even in darkness
Like moonlight in teardrops
Over the tall grass
Years pass, rain falls."
While it has been over 30 years since the casques were buried and landscape features may have since changed, some treasure hunters believe this photo and verse points to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine - but the treasure has yet to be discovered. You can see the full list of notes for the verse here, and the photo here.
So stop wasting your time with a metal detector on the beach, get out there and look for the buried treasure we know actually does exist. Maybe 2019 will be the year you make headlines for finding the third casque and cashing in on your findings.
To see a complete detailed list of all the treasure "maps" and their notes, you can click here.
Remember: do not dig on any property without permission.