I always wanted to find buried treasure. In my imagination I would spot something glinting in the sun on a newly ploughed field and discover a bag of gold coins, or maybe a chest laden with jewelry. In reality, of course, I never expected such a find ever to come my way. Yet in a manner of speaking my fantasy came true. Moreover, the discovery I made was far more spectacular than anything I could have dreamed up. However, the treasure I unearthed lay not in any natural soil but in the artificial loam deposited by thousands of years of human culture. And it was hidden, not in the sense of a pirate burying his loot, but in the spirit of a loving father secretly preparing a gift for a child who has come of age.

This book is the improbable yet absolutely true story of my treasure hunt, along with an explanation of the forces that led me to undertake it and a description of some of the signposts that guided me along the way. This guidance came in various forms. Dreams and visions were given to me. Mysterious strangers passed on messages. Meaningful coincidences were arranged for my edification and instruction. Even miracles were worked on occasion. In this way I was trained for over three years in the skills required to find the stash. Once the training was complete I was shown exactly where to look for it, each item marked with a kind of ‘X’ to identify it for me. I was even given a key with which to unlock the lid of the treasure chest, supplied exactly when I needed it by a kind of cosmic delivery service.

Of course, the treasure itself is also on display. I call it the September-11 Code, and when you view it you will hopefully realize that it is far more precious than gold or gems or any other material thing. The September-11 Code is a message to you about our current age, and as you read it you will begin to view recent events from the perspective of the encoder. The meaning therebygiven them is likely very different from what you currently believe, so be prepared to put your opinions aside and hear what he has to say. I have a feeling you will never forget it, or look at the world around you in the same way again.

The September-11 Code is mostly found within one version of the Christian Bible and one cataclysmic event, witnessed by the entire world. However, its influence has extended to other events appearing on the world stage, products of western culture and even natural phenomena. Buildings were named for architects, plots were given to authors and screenwriters, sentences were constructed for translators, events were timed with split-second accuracy and astronomical alignments were precisely calibrated, all in preparation for the playing out of a horrific, yet enthralling real-life drama at the turn of the millennium.

Given the awesome scope of the phenomenon I am describing and the extraordinary calling I received to investigate it, you may not be surprised to hear me say that it was created by the force or intelligence or being we call ‘God’. That’s an extraordinary claim, I know, but, since the reality of the code is all but indisputable and its authorship far beyond human capability, I think we have no option but to accept that a higher intelligence was the author. Anyway, God has signed his work, so you can be confident of its authenticity. I’m going to assume that God is the author from now on, rather than qualify any statements I make about the origin and purpose of the code.

For those who find that difficult to believe, I don’t blame you. God’s gifts are placed on our doorstep while we look elsewhere, so it may be tempting to imagine that they arrived by some other means and that the idea of a Heavenly Provider is just a comforting fantasy. But just because we may not have seen him doesn’t mean he isn’t there. You can’t see the atmosphere, but if you have ever watched leaves spiraling round on a windy day, you will have deduced the presence of a swirling vortex of air. Those of us who have received gifts of Spirit have concluded that there is a giver.

Although it’s an extraordinary story, I’m not extraordinary in any way. I’m a thinker, certainly, but not a big-time intellectual and I have no real academic credentials. I’m somewhat shy and introspective, a little obsessive (although, for what I had to do, that was a distinct advantage) and generally feel out of place in the world, unless I’m walking or driving in my beloved countryside. I’m working class, if that description still has any meaning, live in a small village and work for a modest salary. Although I’m a Christian, I’m a pretty lame one and I’m no theologian or Bible scholar. Yet it was given to me to find the September-11 Code, so, although I have no idea why I was chosen for such an honor, I did the best I could. I hope I’ve done it justice.

In case any of you are worrying about it, there isn’t any head- spinning mathematics in this book (the message of the code will spin your head right round anyway). There are numbers taken from the Bible and from recent events, a few geometric figures and four substitution schemes by which numbers replace the written word, thereby acting as a bridge to a second, hidden, layer of information. That’s right: God uses numerology. He’ll use any method he can to get through to us, spinning the humblest threads with consummate skill to form awesome tapestries of meaning before our very eyes.

I’ve recorded everything as accurately as I can recall it, helped by the many notes I took, usually as soon as possible after the events I describe occurred. I arranged the material in chronological order too, so you can see how I gradually awakened to the nature and enormity of my task and in the hope that you will go through a similar process of revelation and discovery. The treasure on display here is by no means all I’ve found, but I want you to be dazzled by the magnificence of the code and its message, which a barrow-load of numbers, tables and diagrams would only obscure. Therefore I’ve kept these to an absolute minimum. It reads better that way and you’ll still understand what the code is saying.

The stated dedications include a woman in a shop I returned from before I started this introduction. I once saw an angel in that shop, standing exactly where she stood. But this woman wasn’t an angel, just another Christmas shopper. She tried to do me a small kindness by letting me go in front of her. However, the shop assistant had already started ringing up her groceries, so it was too late. She didn’t fail, though. By her thoughtfulness she lifted my mood and inspired me to start writing. She seemed to embody the spirit of Christmas, almost obliterated now by the forces of commerce, which have claimed the festival of Christ’s birth for their own. So, in addition to my family, I am writing this book for her, the unknown shopper.

Bill Downie