Category Archives: US Botanic Garden

A Visual Tour of The Lost Symbol

For many fans of The Lost Symbol, Washington DC will never quite look the same again.

During the past few months, we have highlighted some of the magnificent and unusual locations Dan Brown used in his latest novel in a regular feature, called Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC.

We will complete the tour in the weeks ahead. But for now, we would like to share an encyclopedic photo slideshow, composed of Julie’s images, that provides a total, visual immersion in the world of The Lost Symbol.

Highlights include the House of the Temple, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Rotunda, the Capitol Visitor’s Center, the National Cathedral, the Library of Congress, the George Washington Masonic Memorial, and the US Botanical Gardens. The music, by the way, is taken from Mozart’s Masonic compositions.

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.

Photo Tour :: The Jungle

US Botanic Garden Jungle (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Our next stop on Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC brings us to Chapter 69.

The Architect of the Capitol, Warren Bellamy, has been blindfolded and driven a few blocks from the Library of Congress. He is led through a number of security doors and into a building where the air is warmer and more humid, “earthy and primal:”

Bellamy now realized where they were. My God! He came here often, although never through the service entrance. This magnificent glass building was only three hundred yards from the Capitol building and was technically part of the Capitol Complex. I run this place! Bellamy now realized it was his own key fob that was giving them access.

Although it only figured modestly in novel, the jungle was a prominent stop on Matt Lauer’s pre-book release tour of the sites that would feature in The Lost Symbol.

And, indeed, the space is extraordinary. Once inside, you really are transported into different worlds and climate zones.

Despite its proximity to the Capitol, tourists to DC rarely visit the US Botanic Gardens. But it is a beautiful, magical, and restorative visit for anyone pounding the pavement on the Lost Symbol route. (Click here for more stops on our Lost Symbol  Photo Tour of DC.)

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.

We Were Right!

So, it looks like we were right. Today’s Lost Symbol clue for the Today show (see below) was exactly as we predicted last night. The question is, will the clues continue to leak out on Amazon? As of now, only the puzzle for Location 2 is showing. But we’ll check back later in the day, just in case.

Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.

Tomorrow’s “Search for the The Lost Symbol” Answer Today

location1Throughout this week, the Today show is teasing viewers with clues to the major plot locations for The Lost Symbol. Some people solved today’s puzzle in a matter of minutes. (The answer was, of course, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center.) But we think we might be able to do one better. We think we can solve tomorrow’s puzzle today.

If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.

Our investigative reporter Dave Shugarts tells us that he has a good lead that the answer to tomorrow’s puzzle will be the US Botanic Garden.

How does he know? Well, it’s all thanks to a team of Twitterers: @UDbmas (Cheryl Lynn Helm), @bgates87 (Bill Gates), @deetective (Simon Cassidy) and @avalonssari (Val Foster). They’ve been solving the myriad puzzles put out by Dan Brown’s publishers all summer. And in the process, one of them — Dave’s says its @bgates87 — stumbled across a weakness in the Lost Symbol security. It originates with Amazon.

Jeff Bezos may have boasted of the extraordinary measures taken to protect the physical books that are now sitting in his warehouse waiting to ship on September 15. But he seems to have overlooked online security.

On the Amazon page for The Lost Symbol, just below the price, is a special section teasing the release of:

mysterious new messages from the Lost Symbol Twitter and Facebook accounts every weekday.” [Emphasis is Amazon’s.]

That teaser is followed by a link to a pdf file of Lost Symbol puzzles. But it seems that an overzealous technician at Amazon is posting the clues one day early. And at lunchtime today, that pdf file contained the clue not only to Location 1, broadcast on the Today show this morning, but also to Location 2:


It didn’t take long for the Twitter group to work out that the three phrases are anagrams of ORCHID HOUSE, PRIMEVAL GARDEN, PLANT ADAPTATION and that the answer is the US Botanic Garden.

We are willing to hedge our bets. But we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re right. We’ll find out in the morning.

Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.