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Madits and the Minitel service

Maxval was a Minitel service which ran from March 16, 1994 to December 14, 2001 on which owl hunters exchanged questions and answers with Max Valentin. These became known as ‘Madits’ short for ‘Max dit’ or Max said. Minitel was a Videotex online service accessible through telephone lines, and was one of the most successful pre-World Wide Web online services. Max answered nearly 100,000 questions through this service.

Max insisted that all the information needed to solve the treasure hunt was available in the 11 clues of the book, but many owl hunters find the additional information useful and study the ‘madits’ religiously.

There were many topics that Max refused to answer questions about at all. These include:


  • The light, shadow, sun
  • The Nave (enigma 560)
  • The Sentinels (enigma 650)
  • The measure and its value (enigmas 500, 420 and 650)
  • Description of the final zone discovered on the map
  • The ‘spiral with four centres’ (enigma 500)
  • The super solution or twelfth enigma
  • The remnants and especially the nature of the leftover clues
  • Methods of decryption
  • The existence of several levels of reading in the hunt

There are some topics where Max was vague and its possible these additional clues may only confuse owl hunters rather than adding new insights to the hunt. Some excellent French blogs such as Zarquos,  Carpe Diem and WikiChouette analyse useful madits and there is also a search engine to help owl hunters find relevant madits.