The Fifth (and Final) Box Has Been Found!
Congratulations to the family that found the Forest Park box!
Here's the story of how they managed the difficult and competitive feat of finding this box (with minor edits):
The first clue lead us to Art Hill since the statute of Saint Louis is located on Art Hill, and you can certainly see the statue from there. After reading the second clue, we thought we needed to focus on locations off of Art Hill but from which we could see the statue of Saint Louis (i.e. the "bigger picture"). (Another treasure hunter later told us there was a more hidden meaning to clue number 2: water. The first letters of each sentence put together spell "water." However, at that point we were already looking around water because of clue #3).
After doing some reading about the Arecibo transmission and playing around with the configuration of the numbers, we found that the "1"s and "0"s in the clue formed a picture of a bridge over water. The bridge in the picture looked like the suspension bridge on the East side of Picnic Island. Despite the fact that we couldn't see the statue from the suspension bridge, only from a few spots near the bridge, we really thought it was hidden near the suspension bridge rather than some of the other bridges in the area. However, our efforts spent examining the suspension bridge and the landscape around it yielded no results. We broadened the search to include more of Picnic island and looked around the bridge on the West side of the island, but still didn't find anything. The bonus clue, which we deciphered to mean "West of Hampton," confirmed we were looking on the correct side of the park but didn't give us any new ideas about where to look next.
Our last idea was to rent a canoe and try searching for the box from the vantage point of the water. We thought that examining the bridges and the shore from the water might allow us to see something we couldn't see from the shore. Our family of four rented a canoe (it was our daughter's first time in a canoe - that was an adventure in and of itself) and searched the shoreline and under the bridges. We found the treasure box under the bridge on the West side of the island, hidden in a crevice between rocks with a few smaller rocks in front of it.
These interpretations of the clues were largely correct. Clue 1 did refer to the statue of Saint Louis, but with the "atop" referring to being atop the bridge in question. The bonus clue was a physical puzzle that, when assembled, showed a rebus puzzle indicating "West of Hampton." Clue 2 was an acrostic spelling out the word "water" with the first letter of each sentence (the references to "overlook" and "taking a step back" were red herrings to ensure it wasn't immediately obvious that there was a hidden message in the clue).
Clue 3 was a nifty one that we quite enjoyed. As indicated in the story above and related by some of you, the clue was indeed a reference to the Arecibo message, sent out in 1974 using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. The idea for that message was to use a semi-prime (product of two primes, call them x and y) number of bits. By doing so, an x by y grid can be created. The orientation is uncertain (could be x long and y high or y long and x high), but there are only two possibilities. The 1's and 0's in the message indicate light vs. dark squares on the grid. If the binary string we supplied (1081 bits long, or 47 by 23) is decoded using this method, you get a picture of a bridge over water, like this:
Now, unfortunately, some of you did not listen to our statements that our artist was not given the information to faithfully render real objects or hiding locations, only instructions about what to depict. So, while many people tried to use this picture literally, it was only meant to convey that the box was hidden near a bridge, not any specific bridge.
However, taken together with Clue #1, a limited number of bridges were possible, and only one bridge was architecturally capable of concealing the treasure box. A bit of intrepidness was required, however, to go under the bridge, either by boat (as our successful finders did), wading through the water, or climbing down.
So, that's it for the fifth and final box of this treasure hunt. We hope this post answers the questions many of you had!
Now that the treasure hunt is over, we are hoping that you'll start thinking about cool events you could make and run yourself. To help with this, and for you to tell us ideas you might have for a future Wondervent event, we've created the Event Ideas group. Join that and share your thoughts! If you aren't ready to run an event on your own, this is a great way to find others interested in helping. Or, you can just test the waters and see what people think of your concept.
Also, we don't want all the fun to end too abruptly. So, we're looking at how we can have some fun around the unreleased/unsolved clues and what other (smaller) fun things we can do that you'd be interested in. Feel free to DM us in the messaging system with any thoughts you have.
Lastly, thank you all for being part of this event. It was a blast, and we think it was a great way to introduce St. Louis to the Wondervent platform. Please, keep telling people we exist so more fun things can happen! And if you need a hand with an event or have an idea for the site, let us know.
Thank you all, and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Some of you have been asking if the box is hidden in the zoo. I just want to clarify that the zoo is not part of the treasure hunt, and that you should not risk being eaten by a tiger to find the treasure. That is more of a treasure hunt for the tigers than it is for you, and will not result in good things for anyone (well maybe for the tigers).
The bonus clue has been released!
A big thank you to Dustin L., Timothy J., and Jazmine S. for hosting some free events on the site! They earned everyone a bonus clue for the Forest Park treasure box. Consider joining their events and having some fun with your fellow treasure hunters!
Unlike what we've done before, this clue is not being released digitally. It is, in fact, a physical puzzle you'll need to assemble and interpret. It is waiting for you at Earthbound Brewing at 2724 Cherokee St. (though you probably knew where it was). They are expecting you, so you can ask for the Wondervent puzzle if you can't find it. Consider getting a drink while you're there, too - Earthbound is one of our sponsors, and they deserve some love. Plus, they make some great beer.
Note that Earthbound does not open until 4 pm! Plan accordingly.
Also, please, when you are done assembling the puzzle and getting the clue, disassemble it again for the next people. It's much more fun (and fair) for everyone (or every team) to have to do the puzzle themselves. All pieces should be in a small box, and they should go back in the box when you are done. Seriously people, do not ruin this for everyone, or we will be very disappointed in you.
The next regular clue is still scheduled for release at 650 signups, so keep spreading the word. We want that last box found!
The Fourth Box is Officially Found!
After much speculation, we have confirmed that the Tower Grove box has been found!
Unlike the other boxes, however, this one was found by someone not participating in the treasure hunt. We were very surprised, as we thought the box was well hidden. Just goes to show you!
In the finder's own words:
My kids and I found the Tower Grove treasure chest, but we weren't aware of the event at the time; I'm just a very curious person who loves to explore.
Not what we were expecting, but hey, we did want these things to be found, so they couldn't be that impossibly hidden; this was never meant to be like The Secret (the treasure hunt book, not the self-help one - although I guess it wasn't meant to be like either…). Plus, they were nice enough to join the event after the fact, so they helped get more clues released for everyone.
Now, because this box was discovered without any clues being solved (at least, not with any certainty), we are not releasing the location yet. Instead, we'll see if you can solve the clues and deduce the location, at least in general terms, when we do whatever we're doing with the unreleased/unsolved clues.
We're now officially down to one box left (in Forest Park)! We have already reached the free event hosting threshold for the release of another clue (see the previous post), which will be announced tomorrow, and we are within 100 signups of the next clue.
Keep spreading the word, and you may just have a chance at finding this most difficult box!
The treasure hunt has been going very well, with three boxes confirmed as found and one almost confirmed. That means there is still one box to find! So, let's see if we can do something to help with that and spread our wings a little when it comes to using Wondervent.
As of now, we are running a contest to give away some prizes! The first person to run a successful public campaign for a paid event (minimum $5 tickets, excluding fees, and a minimum of 10 people attending) on the Wondervent site will win a Fitbit! This is the same model Fitbit as in the treasure hunt, so you know what you're getting.
Additionally, the first person to run a successful public campaign for a free event (minimum 10 people attending) will win an Earthbound Beer sweatshirt! If you haven't seen them, they're pretty cool. Or warm. You know what we mean.
The official contest rules can be found at https://www.wondervent.com/contest/legal, and we're happy to answer questions. But, let us just say that we want this contest to be fair. So, no padding your event with fake signups or running a campaign for an event that you have no intention of running. An event campaign is a contract between the host and attendees. If the campaign is successful, the host is expected to follow through with the event.
And to make it more interesting, we're also going to offer an incentive for the treasure hunt. Within 48 hours of at least three public campaigns for free events being created (not succeeding, just created), we will release another clue! Events can be as simple as getting together to throw a frisbee in the park, but you have to be prepared to hold the event if the campaign succeeds.
All the events posted have to take place in St. Louis, they must involve meeting in person, and they must be legitimate. We have sole authority on the judgment of legitimacy, so don't bother trying to argue with us about your 700 person skydiving adventure happening in 2065 and how it's not your fault if the campaign doesn't succeed. Real events that might really happen, people (assuming others are interested). Also, the events have to be hosted by different people; you're not allowed to make three yourself and expect that to count. And don't try making fake accounts; it's against our rules, and we can find out.
Keep in mind, Wondervent is all about reducing your risk when you want to hold an event, big or small, and, if there's money involved, giving you a way to collect payments so you don't get stuck holding the bag if someone drops out. So, especially for paid events, make sure your campaign ends at least a couple of weeks before your event takes place so there's time to sort things out. And have a buffer in case some credit cards don't charge - the paid event won't be considered successful unless your goal is met or exceeded with actual payments.
Let's make some cool stuff happen!
The Third Box Has Been Found!
Big shoutout for the team that found the Downtown box!
Here's the story of how the team hunted this one down (with minor edits):
Solving the first clue was a bit troublesome. Multiple people tried a plethora of ciphers to unravel the secrets of the text. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that the solution was binary. When decoded back to text, the message "Gateway Arch Grounds" appeared. Four of us went to search in two groups of two. We were under the assumption the lightning bolt image had a faint map with a star, which led us to the North-Eastern section of the grounds (turns out this was partially luck). When searching the surroundings, we noticed an odd-looking rock next to an electrical box. At first we assumed it to be decoration, but one of the members picked it up, and, surprisingly, the box was located in a cavity in the bottom of the faux rock.
Clue 1 was indeed a binary encoding of ASCII characters, with capital letters representing 1 and lowercase representing 0. But, this discovery was at least partially luck, as Clue 2 (the elements picture) did not have a map in the lightning bolt! But, we won't begrudge the team their success over that. However, that does mean the clue has not been solved. So, we're not giving away the answer yet.
You now have a bit of a leg up on solving it, since you now know the hiding place. If you think you know the solution to Downtown Clue 2, don't you give it away either! At the end of the treasure hunt, we may do something with all the unreleased/unsolved clues. So far, this is the only released clue to a found box that we haven't heard a correct solution for, so take the opportunity to mull it over and be ready when the time comes.
For those of you who are curious, here's the box and its contents:
Not a bad haul, all things considered. Plus, they kept the rock, which we are told is now named Dwayne.
Things are both getting more intense and winding down on this treasure hunt event. But, fear not! The Treasure Hunt Group will remain indefinitely on the site, so everyone can continue participating in the great community that has sprung up. Hopefully, new events can be born there and run on the site. Remember, Wondervent is for any event you want to run, so don't look at us to keep creating them - go make one yourself!
Also, don't be shy about creating a group of your own that you think people might be interested in. There's already a hiking group, and there's plenty of space for more. Starting a group is a great way to build a community that would be interested in your events, so consider getting in on the ground floor and creating one early.
Good luck out there!
We're really happy to see all the communication happening on this group! In case you want to talk privately (without making a group, we wanted to give you a list of everyone in the treasure hunt and a way to message them. So, here you go!
If anyone runs into any issues, just contact us (messaging, email, whatever) and we'll look into it.
The Second Box Has Been Found!
Hearty congratulations are in order for the finders of the Central West End box!
As with last time, we'll let one of the successful hunters tell the story in their own words (with tiny edits):
The first clue led us to look for fountains. We checked Taylor Park and the fountain on Maryland but didn't find anything. When the second clue came out, we looked for Ivy near those locations, no luck at Taylor Park. But I saw a wall of Ivy on the garage in the alley adjacent to Bar Louie and walked over. I looked under a bush and found the package!
Well done on clue interpretation! Indeed, the first clue's answer was "Fountain," while the second was "Ivy." Put those together, and only a few locations in the CWE become possible, and the locations are further narrowed by the provision that no trespassing (or other illegal activity) is required to find the boxes (please don't forget that, folks!). Here's a picture that makes the hiding place clearer (but no, the box was not sitting out in full view when they found it):
This time it was a team of three who succeeded, so we continue to encourage people to form some teams and work together. We built Groups in the hopes that people would converse on the site, and while building an audience for events was our first thought, this treasure hunt certainly shows one of the many other ways that Groups can be used. Go use them! And quit using Facebook for it - you know who you are :P
Also, while we applaud your efforts and successes so far, be warned, things do get harder from here. We're going to give you more to work with in the coming days and weeks, but the challenge level will be rising. And we still need your help to bring in people to get clues released! Don't worry about whether they are in St. Louis, they can always join your private group, hash out ideas, and play the game. We promise, you're going to start needing more perspectives to crack the clues, and we're really very friendly, so introduce us around!
Lastly, remember that Wondervent is ultimately not about treasure hunts or anything specific to St. Louis. It's a platform for people to propose fun things, get backing to do the unusual, or just get people together (virtually and in person). Consider creating your own event, free or paid, big or small, secure in the knowledge that you don't have to do it if you can't get the support you need.
Now, let's make this thing big! Good luck out there!
The First Box Has Been Found!
We are excited to announce that the Delmar Loop box has been found and recovered by a team of two intrepid hunters!
Here is the story of the process in the words of one of them (with slight edits for clarity):
That's an impressive bit of deduction! Congratulations!
Several people have asked about the hiding place. The specific location in the Farmer's Market was in a space framed by two benches and two planters, creating a hole of sorts. A few bricks were placed on top of the box so it would not be seen casually but could be found by anyone making a search.
That means there are now four boxes out there, and clues continue to be released as more people join. As always, encourage others to join the hunt, and don't be shy about making teams to get help. As shown by the success story above, more brains is an asset!
To that end, as a reminder, you can create your own groups on the site.
Also, please remember that this is Wondervent's launch event! The platform is meant to enable all sorts of fun, from small things like organizing a group discount on tickets to big things like creating a new convention. And, of course, crazy things like this treasure hunt! So once the treasure is found, the next question is, what kind of event do YOU want to run here?