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Beverly Ferree
Beverly Ferree

Hunt for Pirate Treasure Grips Area

Jul 11, 2017

Off the coast of Nova Scotia lies a mysterious plot of land called Oak Island, where legend says a vast treasure has been buried for hundreds of years.  A popular History Channel show, “The Curse of Oak Island” documents an ongoing search to find that treasure and various traps and puzzles it presents.  Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, the idea you could solve clues to find a hidden treasure is, to say the least, intriguing. This is the inspiration behind Folk Secrets, a treasure hunt created by Moore based Trifecta Communications. With the use of TV-style videos, social media, and a smartphone app, Trifecta has designed a treasure hunt for the Cleveland County area unlike any we’ve ever seen.  

Before delving into the specifics, let’s deal with the question on everyone’s mind…the prize! Being the first to complete the hunt will yield you a $1,000 cash prize.  But perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to award the treasure itself, valued at $4,000, to a non-profit from an approved list of charities serving the Cleveland County area.  Everyone who completes the hunt, whether they’re first or not, will be in the running to win numerous additional prizes.

So, for those of you interested in solving riddles and looking for clues, this could be your summer adventure.

“It’s called Folk Secrets,” explained Brent Wheelbarger of Trifecta Communications. “Basically, it’s a treasure hunt in the Cleveland County area, including Purcell, tied to our local history and benefiting charity. The whole thing is presented as a TV show viewers can actually participate in by hunting for the treasure themselves, using the Folk Secrets Codex App.”

If you plan to take part in the hunt, you’ll want to ‘like’ the Folk Secrets Facebook page, where updates and information will be disseminated.  You’ll also want to download the Folk Secrets Codex App to your smartphone or mobile device, and then watch the live launch event on Facebook, Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m., to get your first clue!

The treasure’s story is something Wheelbarger calls “twistory,” history with a twist.

“The entire story ties to the history of the Cleveland County area,” Wheelbarger said. “It’s actually twistory…real history connected to a fictitious story. The show on Facebook tells the background of the treasure; how and why it got here; the legend behind it; is it cursed?  Once you watch the first episode, you’ll learn the first image to scan. You will then use the app to scan that item, which will animate and reveal the second clue.  You’ll then figure out the second clue and go scan that item.  The process continues from there until you’ve completed the hunt”

Spoiler Alert: the answer to the first clue is the state flag of Oklahoma. Once the first episode airs on June 30, you simply use the Codex App to scan an Oklahoma flag or a picture of the flag to get your next clue.

But after the first few clues, the hunt gets harder, “Most of the clues are spread throughout the area and you have to visit the clue and scan it in order to know what’s next,” Wheelbarger said. “The clues are distributed throughout Moore, South Oklahoma City, Norman, Noble, Lexington, and Purcell. Through the course of the hunt, you’ll criss-cross the area and hopefully see new things and learn new things about the place where we live.”

There are 10 clues within the treasure hunt.

“Some of the clues are really difficult,” said Patrick Glueck, Trifecta’s augmented reality specialist. “But for those who grew up here, it will be much easier.”

The Trifecta group called in the big guns to test their ideas.

“We had some Moore Public Schools S.E.A.R.C.H. classes (gifted and talented students) come help us when we first started developing the idea. Shannon Brackeen brought her S.E.A.R.C.H. classes to do a mini-treasure hunt in the Old School Building in Moore to test market the idea. They all said it was too easy!” Wheelbarger said. “Brackeen also brought some teachers who gave us feedback, and they all said we needed to emphasize the history component. They felt an initiative like this could really grab kid’s imaginations and engage them with history in a powerful way.”

 But a big priority for the Trifecta group is simply getting people to explore their communities.

“More than anything, we really want people to get out and explore where they live and have a better understanding of this place,” Wheelbarger said. “This will be a fun way to get people engaged with their community and surrounding communities. They’ll have to go out on an adventure.”

The history, or twistory, is a storyline that goes back hundreds of years.

“We’ve tied the story with lots of interesting historical characters including Kidd the Pirate, Washington Irving, Belle Starr and numerous historical figures from Oklahoma history,” Wheelbarger said. “The various characters are showcased in the Facebook videos and the clues themselves.  A character named Jonathon Quill serves as narrator, describing the travels of the treasure and how it all converges on this part of Oklahoma. The whole thing is presented in print and video as a graphic novel with a comic book look and feel. And the fun thing is, even the local historical figures have been turned into graphic novel characters…they all seem bigger than life.”

So, is there a future in this type of entertainment?

“Who knows,” explained Wheelbarger. “We wanted to start small and we’ll see where it goes.”

Trifecta is partnering with numerous area media outlets including the Moore American, Moore Monthly, The Purcell Register and The Norman Transcript to advertise the event. The project is being underwriting by local businesses including BancFirst, Cobble Insurance Agency, Crossland’s A&A Rent-All & Sales Co., Levant Technologies, Lincoln Lending, Nosh, Norman Regional, OZ Saferooms Tech, Randall’s Temperature Control Specialists and Van’s Pig Stands.

Whether there’s really a treasure buried off the coast of Nova Scotia is anyone’s guess.  But this summer, we know for sure there’s a treasure buried in the Cleveland County area.  Be the first to find it and win money, help charity and maybe even learn something. Don't forget to tune into the live launch event on Facebook on Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m.  The winner will be revealed on Facebook during a live Season Finale video event on Sept. 1, and everyone else who completes the hunt will get their names in a drawing for prizes.  


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