BURLINGTON – As election day descends upon Vermont like a swarm of progressive, grass-fed locusts, residents are sure to notice the increase in campaign signage along their driving routes. But what most Vermonters have not realized is that these signs may contain clues leading to a hidden treasure that many thought to be a myth.
The treasure of Ethan Allen is a tale that isn’t told much anymore, owing to the fact that it is universally believed to be false, although one family has held out hope of finding the treasure for generations. Trevor Coffre recalls his father and his grandfather regaling him with wild tales of the Green Mountain Boys and their hoard. Ethan Allen was known for being a bit of a rapscallion, and rumors quickly spread that each one of his many famed exploits added something valuable to his collection. Over time, Coffre says, Allen amassed a large trove of valuable money and artifacts, although after Allen’s death in 1789 no trace of such a treasure was ever found.
Allen died in Burlington, and Coffre believes that the treasure is somewhere in the Champlain Valley, although his clues were few, until now. After researching the city’s signage rules, dating back hundreds of years, Coffre is convinced that there is a message spelled out in the campaign signs along the median as Main Street begins to wind through UVM at the top of the hill. He has asked for the city’s help in decoding the message and digging up the treasure, asking only for a ten percent finder’s fee.
“It’s amazing, the genius of Ethan Allen,” Coffre says excitedly. “How did he know who would be running for what? Unless he has descendants helping to keep the code alive. But when I first saw it, I was just flabbergasted. Jaw dropped. Eyes goggled. There it was, plain as day. I started repeating the words over and over. Bernie, Major, May, Scott, Pearson, Bernie, Bernie, Zuckerman, May, Bernie, Christine, it suddenly made sense. And if you look at exactly how far apart the signs are from each other, that’s the clue to tell you which letter to read from the following sign. And a message starts to appear. A map of sorts. And all I need to do is dig up City Hall to get the next clue.”
Mayor Weinberger had no comment on the digging up of City Hall.