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Based on the 'Masqerade' book published in 1979, where the clues lay to real life treasure in the form of a golden Hare created and hidden by the author Kit Williams, some where in England, the books were beautifully illustrated with 15 paintings, and told the story of Jack Hare, He sealed the hare inside a ceramic hare-shaped casket (both to protect the prize from the soil, and to foil attempts to locate the treasure with a metal detector).
The casket was inscribed with the legend "I am the Keeper of the Jewel
of MASQUERADE, which lies waiting safe inside me for You or Eternity".
At the time really grabbed the publics imagination, and sold hundreds and thousands of copies.
On December 11, 1988, The Sunday Times printed a story accusing the winner of the Masquerade contest of being a fraud. "Ken Thomas" was revealed as a pseudonym of Dugald Thompson, and Thompson's business partner, John Guard, was the boyfriend of Veronica Robertson, a former live-in girlfriend of Kit Williams. Guard had allegedly convinced Robertson to help him because both were said to be Animal right activists and Guard promised to donate any profits to the animal rights cause.
The Sunday Times alleged that while living with Williams, Robertson had learned the approximate physical location of the hare, while remaining ignorant of the proper solution to the book's master riddle. After supposedly finding out from Robertson that the hare was in Ampthill, Guard and two assistants were said to have started searching for it using metal detectors. After searching for some time with no success, they drew a crude sketch of the location, which Thompson then submitted to Williams as "Thomas", and it was this that Williams acknowledged as the first correct answer.
Williams was shocked to discover the scandal and is quoted as saying:
Thompson founded a software company called "Haresoft", and offered the jewel as a prize to a new contest which took the form of this game, The company and its game (which many believe to be unsolvable with only meaningless text and graphics), were unsuccessful, yielding no winner.
Robertson has always maintained her innocence in the matter, insisting that she never knew the location of the jewel or even which part of the world it had been buried. Robertson says she had never wanted to know the location of it and was very shocked and upset, not only by the accusations made against her but also by the way she was treated and misquoted by the press at the time.
Other Software by Haresoft:
Information About Haresoft:
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH44398. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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