James Morrow thinks he knows where two boxes of treasure are buried, but he can't get to them. The mystery was launched in a 1982 book by Byron Preiss, who wrote that he'd buried a dozen Plexiglas boxes in spots throughout North America, CBC reports. Each box held a key the finder could trade for a jewel worth $1,000. The Secret: A Treasure Hunt included a Nostradamus-like verse and a cryptic painting providing readers clues to each location. "The treasure casques themselves are of incalculable value, never having been owned by man or woman," the book says, per Discovery.com. Only three of the boxes—in Chicago, Cleveland, and Boston—have been found, and Preiss died in 2005 having never told anyone where the rest are buried. But Murrow, a Canadian, thinks he's put the clues together and knows where two of them are. He sometimes watches people eat lunch above one of them.
The amateur treasure hunter took up the puzzle after seeing a documentary in 2018. The locations' common thread is that they have something to do with Europeans settling in North America, he said. A rock in one painting actually was an iceberg, he decided. "There's only one place in North America where people go as tourists to see icebergs all the time," he said, which led him to Newfoundland, then Bowring Park in St. John's. A clock in another painting led him to Nova Scotia; it looked like the Halifax City Hall clock and suggested the 1917 Halifax Explosion. Murrow ended up in the central plaza, Grand Parade. An anthropologist searched the area for him with ground-penetrating radar, but the results were inconclusive. Murrow is leaving the St. John's spot to others, and Halifax won't allow a dig. The mayor said he understands the frustration but can't permit a hole "three feet wide and just as deep, with no certainty anything is there." (Read the full story for more on Murrow's thinking.)