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Hidden in plain sight

Best-selling author Brad Meltzer is known for the meticulous research he puts into his books. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a fan of the obvious — or at least fond of things that should be obvious.

Best-selling author Brad Meltzer is known for the meticulous research he puts into his books. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a fan of the obvious — or at least fond of things that should be obvious.

“I love the secrets that are hidden right in front of your face,” says the author, whose novel “The Book of Fate” involves the lore of Masonic symbols built into the streets of Washington, D.C. “The core of a good mystery is when you never saw the answer but it was there the whole time.”

And according to his new History Channel series, there are good mysteries all around us. In “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded,” the author and a team of experts aim to uncover the secrets of our nation’s history — including details buried in some of our most treasured icons.

“We launch the show examining the night that the very first stone of the White House was laid down in a Freemason ceremony. Within 24 hours, it was missing,” Meltzer says. “Where is it? Is it hollow? Is George Washington’s frozen head inside?”

Probably not. But if it’s a strong theory someone has, Meltzer’s willing to investigate, which makes finding the facts that much more difficult. “The hardest part of history is parsing out the real truth,” he says. “Five people will have a different account of the same event. Who you believe, who’s the most credible — their story becomes history. I want to find the lost history.”

Liberty and justice for all?

The Statue of Liberty is another monument examined for its secret history in “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded.”

“The Statue of Liberty was never actually meant to be seen from the inside,” says Meltzer. “The Statue of Liberty was never meant to be a tourist trap, it was meant to be seen just from the outside as a symbol. And so there are things inside it that no one’s ever realized are there.”


 
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