Zena Halpern Map Decoded




Who Wrote the Zena Halpern Map

The Zena Halpern Map is a treasure map drawn by French Admiral Jean-Baptiste du Casse. The Admiral used French to draw the Map for his son-in-law Louis de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Roye. The Marquis de Roye was a lieutenant-general of the galleys in the French Navy who served with Admiral du Casse and was highly thought of by the Admiral. Admiral du Casse was a colorful character who lived from 1646 to 1715. Some of Admiral du Casse's exploits are documented in The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd, Admirals of the Caribbean and L'Amiral du Casse.


The heading of the Halpern Map contains the following - Cette dessan pour M. francosica Rochefoucauld, un petite verre d'apprenouslatria. Which roughly translates to - This drawing is for monsieur prickly pear Rochefoucauld, a little glass of wine after our triumph. This is the key phrase that helped me identify Admiral du Casse as the author of the Halpern Map. This phrase tells the reader that the map was written for an individual named Rouchefoucauld. A quick search on the Internet led to Admiral duCasse and his son-in-law, lieutenant-general Rouchefoucauld.


Reading the above books confirmed that Admiral du Casse drew the Halpern Map. I'm not sure when Admiral du Casse buried his treasure on Oak Island but, he made numerous trips between French territories in the Caribbean and France and Spain. Admiral du Casse took part in numerous raiding parties of the port city Cartagena in Columbia, Port-Royal in Jamaica, St. Christopher's (St. Kitts) and Surinam. Admiral du Casse also led the Spanish Treasure Fleet in 1711. These raids enriched him and his family and he may have diverted some of his treasure to Oak Island during one of his return trips to France and Spain from the Caribbean.


Where is the du Casse Treasure Buried?
The Zena Halpern Map was written by Admiral du Casse, an extremely cunning and smart individual. Jean Baptiste du Casse was a privateer, a governor of Santo Domingo in Hispaniola, commanded the Spanish treasure fleet during 1711 and retired as an Admiral in the French Navy.


It appears that Oak Island may have been a stopping point on Admiral du Casse's return trips to Europe from the Caribbean. Oak Island is off the coast of Nova Scotia and may have been the last chance to stock up on fresh water and other supplies before the Transatlantic crossing which Admiral du Casse made numerous times. I believe Admiral du Casse decided to leave some treasure on Oak Island before returning to France or Spain to be recovered at a later date by his son-in-law Louis de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Roye.


Interpreting the Zena Halpern Map
The Map has very little information on it to help locate the treasure deposited by Admiral du Casse but, all the information contained on the map was relevant to finding it. The map shows the layout of Oak Island and a couple of nearby Islands that are crucial to decoding the location of the possible hidden treasure. With the little information available on the Halpern Map it may be possible to find the magic spot to locate the possible treasure buried below.



treasure location on Oak Island


Figure 1 - Halpern/du Casse Map with X marking site of possible buried treasure


Mnemonics Used on the Halpern/du Casse Map
Everything written on the Halpern/du Casse Map had meaning and could be used to help find the buried treasure. The terms "Les sud Indien travail très bon" and "Le Lionceau de Talmont" don't make sense until you realize they are mnemonics for both distance and a compass heading.


The term "Les sud Indien travail très bon" translates to - "The South Indians work very good" and has 26 characters which was used as a compass heading from a marker on Frog Island to the hidden treasure. The term "Le Lionceau de Talmont" translates to - "The young lion of Talmont" has 19 characters and multiplied by 10 yards was used as a distance from a marker located on Oak Island made up of stones placed in a triangle formation on the Southeast corner of Oak Island and one of three markers used to find the hidden treasure.


The most important phrase on the map is "Un mille trois cent quarante sept" translates to 1347. Zena Halpern believed the Map was written by Knights Templar in 1347 AD. It's possible the Map was written that long ago but, I believe the Map was written around 1700 by Admiral du Casse. So what is the importance of 1347? It was used as a mnemonic of the year 1347 and the distance from two markers on islands surrounding Oak Island to the hidden treasure. Admiral du Casse may have chosen 1347 as a mnemonic to use on his treasure map for numerous reasons. The Black Plague appeared in France in 1347, the French Navy destroyed the Turkish Navy at the Battle of Imbros and the Fall of Calais to the English during the Hundred Years' War occurred in 1347. I'm not sure which was more important to Admiral du Casse but, since he was a leader in the French Navy, the Battle of Imbros may have had a more important significance to him personally.


How did Admiral du Casse use 1347 as a measuring distance? France in the early 1700s used the medieval system before changing to the metric system in 1795. So Admiral du Casse used fathoms, pied du roi and leagues in his calculations during his lifetime. To further confuse anyone from deciphering the Map du Casse divided fathoms in half and used yards for his measuring tool on the map.


After du Casse decided on the mnemonic 1347 he used two separate locations from his hidden pile of booty with the distance of 1347 yards. Since Oak Island is about 1433 yards at its longest du Casse used two surrounding islands as starting points to count off the yards to the hidden treasure. The first marker is on Round Island directly West of Oak Island. The first marker on Round Island was due West or 270 degrees from the hidden booty. So you head due East from the first marker 1347 yards across Round Island, thru the waters surrounding Oak Island and onto Oak Island until you reach the hidden treasure on the Eastern side of Oak Island.


A second marker was located on Frog Island which is located Northeast of Oak Island. From the second marker located on Frog Island du Casse headed across Frog Island and the waters surrounding Frog Island heading 260° until he marked out 1347 yards which terminated on the Eastern side of Oak Island where his hidden treasure may still be buried.


stone triangle on Oak Island


Fig. 2 Stone Triangle on Oak Island in 1939 (Popular Science 06/1939)


The third marker used to mark the location of the du Casse booty is a stone triangle that was located on the Southeast corner of Oak Island. This stone triangle was depicted in the June 1939 issue of Popular Science (Fig 2). The stone triangle was destroyed by Robert Dunfield in the 1960s and a duplicate has been built that can be seen in the episode, Rock Solid, of Season Six of the Curse of Oak Island, which includes Dr. Travis Taylor. Travis Taylor, an astrophysicist, developed his own theory regarding hidden treasure on Oak Island based on a star map that includes the Pleiades and you can see the duplicate stone triangle in this episode. The stone triangle is described as just South of the Money Pit and can be seen as a possible confirmation of Dr. Taylor's theory. From this third marker the booty was buried on a line of magnetic North 190 yards from the stone triangle. The mnemonic "Le Lionceau de Talmont" has 19 characters and the treasure was buried 190 yards on a magnetic North line from this marker. Now we just need to figure out where the original stone triangle was located and mark off 190 yards from that location to find the hidden booty.


The Halpern Map was written around 1700 and the deviation for magnetic North was about 11 degrees West of true North on Nova Scotia. By using three separate markers du Casse made sure he would have at least one marker to locate his hidden treasure after his return or the arrival of his son-in-law, Louis de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Roye.


magnetometer view of Oak Island


Fig. 3 Magnetometer view of Eastern side of Oak Island with possible treasure locations marked in pink (screen shot from Curse of Oak Island)


On the magnetometer view of Oak Island in Figure 3 you can see a couple of locations where the soil has been disturbed about 190 yards north of where the stone triangle was located. If the previous searchers used a true North heading from the stone triangle they would have missed the hidden treasure Admiral du Casse may have deposited on Oak Island. If you searched along the True North line from the stone triangle they would have failed to find the hidden booty left by Admiral du Casse and we can hope hidden treasure still awaits discovery along the magnetic North line of 1700 from the third marker used to mark the location of treasure North of the stone triangle or a marker that may still be in place on Frog or Round Island.


So the Zena Halpern Map will not lead to the Money Pit on Oak Island but, it may lead to hidden treasures left by Admiral du Casse who was a privateer in the late 1600s and early 1700s. Whether any hidden treasure left on Oak Island was from the Spanish Fleet expedition of 1711 or an earlier crossing can only be determined after the hidden treasure is recovered.



Bill McNulty




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