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Q: Treasure Hunt Book from 1980s (Carousel Horse?) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Treasure Hunt Book from 1980s (Carousel Horse?)
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: jengod1-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 19 May 2006 11:57 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2006 11:57 PDT
Question ID: 730457
I probably won't get this answered since my "clues" are so vague, but here goes:

I'm looking for a picture book I remember from my childhood. My dad
bought it, and it was marketed as a treasure hunt/mystery. All of the
clues were supposed to be within the text and images of the book, and
the prize was "buried treasure." I believe the treasure was a carousel
horse with money inside. I feel like within the images of the book was
a black horse and maybe a girl with a red cape. The overall tone of
the story was quite dark and hopeless, and I remember being a little
frightened by it.

The book would probably have been published in the United States in
the 1980s, since that's when I remember paging through it.

I also remember seeing a segment on a TV newsmagazine show many years
later (the early '90s maybe?) about the "solution." Someone either
finally found the thing, OR no one ever found it and the author or the
people in charge of the contest just dug it up.

So, anyway, I'm looking for the title of the book. I can then probably
find it online for purchase. Hopefully.

The only other thing I remember was that the first letters of the text
on every page spelled out a sentence, but that's probably not going to
help you find the book.

Again, apologies for the vagueness. Thanks to anyone with any insight!

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 19 May 2006 12:40 PDT

Do you think the book you recall could be Masquerade by Kit Williams?

?Like a lot of kids who grew up in the late 70's/early 80's, I was
absolutely enthralled with a picture book called Masquerade. The book,
written and illustrated by Kit Williams, could be read as a standard
child's fable about the moon falling in love with the sun, but it was
designed as a real-world treasure hunt: Follow the subtle clues
dropped throughout the book, and you'd discover the location of a very
real hand-made jewel, valued at the time at $5,000. My father brought
the book home one day as a gift and I was hooked. I was sure I would
be able to solve the riddle.?

"Solving the riddle of Masquerade involved an elaborate system, subtly
indicated in the book, of drawing lines starting from the eyes of
characters within the paintings, proceeding through the tips of middle
fingers and big toes of the same characters, and finally pointing to
letters which appear on the border of every painting within the book.
Decoding and following this method reveals the nineteen-word message:


You can see all the paintings here:

An article in the London Times

If it isn?t Masquerade, the book might be one of the books mentioned here:
See closed hunts at the bottom of the page.

Subject: Re: Treasure Hunt Book from 1980s (Carousel Horse?)
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 19 May 2006 13:00 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I believe the book you have in mind is Treasure: In Search of the
Golden Horse (Paperback) by Sheldon Renan.

Product Details
Paperback: 81 pages 
Publisher: Warner Books (August 1984) 
Language: English 

"One of the best puzzle books ever created. It kept me working
diligently for years along with countless others including two fellows
that solved the puzzle after the contest ended. They dug up the empty
box in a mountain pass in Colorado just to prove to themselves they
had solved it. (The gold horse and money had already been donated to
charity.) "

Used and new copies are available on Amazon

"Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse is a 1984 illustrated book
and accompanying video by Sheldon Renan published in the United States
by Warner Books (ISBN 0446381608). The book was designed and promoted
as a contest, in which readers attempted to solve the elaborate puzzle
contained in the book's story to find the location of real 1 kilogram
golden horse buried in a box somewhere on public land within the
continental United States."

In early September 1984, I was reading an issue of T.V. Guide and
noticed an advertisement about a contest, which had started on, or
about May 26th, 1984.

"The name of the contest was ?Treasure, In Search of the Golden
Horse?. To participate in the contest, the ad stated that you must buy
a seventy (70) page beautifully illustrated book written by Sheldon
Renan and/or purchase a one hour-long Beta video. Both told
essentially the same story of a girl in search of her lost stallion,
Treasure. The prize was buried somewhere in the continental United
States. I went out that day and purchased the book and ordered the
Beta tape by mail. My brother, John also purchased the book and
ordered the tape. WHAT A MISTAKE! I never realized for almost the next
five (5) years I would spend literally hundreds of hours searching for
that golden horse."

Search terms:
treasure hunt book clues  buried treasure horse

I hope this is the correct book! If not, please request clarification
before rating my answer and I will resume my search.

Best regards, 
jengod1-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I'm ashamed of myself. I thought I was gonna stump you guys. Naturally
it only took, like, 2 minutes for a Google Researcher to figure it

Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse is exactly right! Thank you very much!

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