The Mysterious Mr. Fenn…

A strange story coming out of Santa Fe claims that Forrest this week has taken steps to make certain  the treasure becomes “unavailable” should anything happen to him. By “anything” I am certain the rumor means any “harm” to Forrest. But how can the treasure become “unavailable”? What can be done that could make the treasure disappear?

One of the media’s proverbial quotes from Forrest about the treasure is “I’ve thought of everything”, when talking about hiding the chest. Does this mean the treasure, although available now, could be sealed up like King Tut in a heartbeat if things go haywire? I certainly wouldn’t put it past Forrest. He is a clever fellow. A man knowledgeable in all manner of outdoor skills. A man who has intimate knowledge of the prehistoric and historic methods employed to protect valuables.  Mr. Fenn is wealthy enough to put any sort of system in place to remove the possibility of the chest from ever being found. Still, I’d hate for the treasure to become an enigma like the Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona or the Oak Island Money Pit in Nova Scotia just because some thieving coward decided to take a shortcut to it’s hiding place.

By itself, this news is curious enough but there is more:

Newsweek with the story about Forrest and the treasure. Week of August 20,2012.

If you have not read the story by Tony Dokoupil in Newsweek Magazine you can find it here:

and the video with Mr. Dokoupil’s interpretation of the clues in the poem here: (he claims he knows exactly where it’s at…ha!)

So, with the Newsweek story it looks like Forrest has gotten international press about the treasure. Fair enough. But today I heard that he flat turned down additional interested national and foreign media including CNN, The Today Show, TV in Australia and Great Britain and Inside Entertainment. He’s even said “No” to local press. He simply said “No thanks”. He didn’t say “I’ll think about it”, or “I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” just “No.”

I’m scratching my head trying to understand why? I mean this is great for you and me if tens of thousands of additional searchers do not join us. Maybe that’s what he has in mind…protecting the core.

Rumors are spreading that much of what is in the Newsweek story are misquotes and untruths. That Forest wrote a note to the editor at Newsweek pointing them out. If so it will be interesting to see if the story is updated. I know several of the quotes were completely different than I’ve heard Forrest say before.

And then there are changes at Forrest’s Santa Fe home. It appears that Forrest is adding to the already tight security around his modest home after Newsweek inaccurately reported that his “mansion” and collections are unprotected. His home is a one bedroom affair. Hardly a “mansion”. He does have a large lot. Perhaps an acre…maybe more but it certainly is not an estate.

Mr. Dokoupil apparently missed the eight foot wall around the Fenn home, the security cameras watching the yard and motion detectors in the house. The entire property is lit at night. These items have been a part of Forrest’s security system for years but now there is new activity around the  house. Possibly in response to the inappropriate reporting by Mr. Dokoupil. But others say that the mysterious Mr. Fenn has something else in mind. What could he be creating?

Forrest’s home is a spacious one bedroom affair. He already has enough security devices around to make it tight as an armadillo. But now a new guest house and a parking strip have appeared behind the eight foot wall. What could he be planning?

I have also heard from more than one source that the Fenn’s have added at least one police trained German Shepard to their yard.

Well, if anyone knows how to protect valuable art its Forrest and Peggy. Their Fenn Gallery had millions of dollars in paintings and sculptures until 1987 when they sold it. Forrest had two carnivorous alligators that hung out in a small pond and roamed the fenced-in gallery property at will.

His yard has a pond as well and when I asked if it was stocked with his favorite game fish, trout, Forrest told me that the water was too warm. Certainly Forrest could keep the pond at a temperature suitable for trout if he wanted. But if he doesn’t, what kind of pet would enjoy warm pond water? Walk carefully!

But probably the most interesting rumor of all tells of a recent visit to the Fenn home by a former Secretary of Defense. The rumor goes on to say that the visit was only partially social.

Are we to soon see drones in the air over the Fenn household? Maybe 24hr satellite coverage? It pays to have friends in high places when it comes to defense and security.

My advice…knock before entering!


16 thoughts on “The Mysterious Mr. Fenn…

  1. “I’m scratching my head trying to understand why?”

    I think when you kindly let someone into your home and you share your story with them and they twist things to possibly create another story for their own selfish needs…well…why open yourself up to get burned again…….

    • I suppose you’re right (sigh). It’s just that searchers having access to Forrest through direct email and all those occassional little media pieces with additional clues…well it made the whole treasure hunt much more personal. I hope we don’t lose that. I think it also made it more fun for Forrest. I certainly don’t want all this to become a drudge for him.

    • Stephanie & Dal – You both have been to FF’s home, but where is it? I thought he lived in a mansion, not a one bedroom home with 8 ft walls around it. How does he have enough space for his artifacts? Have you been to his ex-gallery?

          • I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting that info on the blog and I don’t mean to sound rude if that does. It’s just that he’s had some bad dealings with people. You can email him through his web site and ask him and see if he’ll answer.

  2. When you have a heart-warming story like this and especially if there is money involved, creepers will crawl out of the woodwork everywhere. I was hoping Mr. Fenn would hole up in some vacation house somewhere until it died down a bit.

    I don’t plan to look for the chest, at least not seriously, but I hope whoever finds it gives proper recognition to the man’s gift. The gift, not being the treasure itself, but the idea of it. Which, in my ever so humble opinion, is more important than money.

    • Beautifully stated Ricky Lee. That Newsweek article couldn’t decide if it was about a great treasure hunt or an investigative report accusing Forrest of being a grave robber. The two did not mix very well.

  3. That was good Ricky Lee. I think the treasure itself is amazing and exciting and would be so incredible find. I was thinking about what you said about Forrest’s gift. I know many of us have already received. I was thinking about how to describe what it was for me….I mean I’ve seen so many things I never have before that were awe inspiring. It wasn’t just that. I’ve definitely been changed. My circle has gotten so much bigger. I had limits in my life that didn’t include so many of the things I’ve since done. I had no reason to be brave, so it was easy to just keep living the life I was. I’ve pushed myself and the feeling that’s given me has been seriously thrilling. I also thought about knowing Forrest. i don’t know anyone like him. Never met anyone like that. He just did amazing things. I think a lot of us draw a line in our lives….things we can do and things that are beyond what we can do. I imagine a few are erasing that line after reading his story.
    Dal, I had said his story was choppy…you nailed it on the head….he tried to make Forrest out to be a bad guy…but people will have to understand within their own thoughts who he really is. I mean who willingly gives away possibly 3 million dollars worth of treasure to a stranger to help support someone else’s dream? It’s obvious that Tony’s view was skewed for his own selfish gains, because the two stories don’t mesh. Forrest’s actions(the treasure) says it all.

    • I agree whole-heartedly. He is a constant and valuable resource for many of us….like the water we drink, the air we breath. His treasure hunt idea and the way he’s handled it has been a positive force in many of our lives.

  4. I hope this does not mean that this is the end of the ‘hunt. I’ve made some excursions already and planned out another two into some nearby areas. Our little group is always interersted in recent news about Forest Fenn and I hope some sleeze ball did not make comments about hurting him, that would be low ball.

    Good luck to everyone and see you on the Trail,


    • I hope not either. We’ll just have to watch and see what happens. But for right now he is still happily answering email and encouraging folks to look.

  5. Hi Dal. I’m one of the four that Tony joined for a search. I liked him (and still talk to him every now and again), but after reading the story, I felt that he worked hard at just that – telling a story. In general, the information is close. Some of the details are a little loose. For example, we never ran into a Ranger. We didn’t run into a kid we thought was a bear. The quotes – particularly the one where Mark talked about a cocaine dealer – were taken out of context.

    The best thing about the whole Newsweek adventure was that we got to sit down and talk to Forrest. We found him cagey (in a good way), sharp, inquisitive, full of knowledge and wisdom, and overall genuine. I would love to spend time with him at a later date (perhaps if we get the chance to return his bracelet). He’s the kind of guy you just want to know.

    The worst thing about the article is how it painted Forrest. People, I’m sure, will miss the point. He has injected a little bit (or a lot) of adventure in our lives. For that, we need to thank and support him.


    • Thanks Chad-

      So, Tony made up the whole bear and the whole ranger episode! That’s worth repeating…and I guess I just did. That’s pretty inexcusable for Newsweek…I mean I could see the purpose of “adding flavor” if the story was in “True West” magazine but not what I expect from a guy who writes about journalistic integrity in the Columbia Journalism Review and who is a senior writer at Newsweek. One has to wonder how that can be justified. I know that Forrest was pretty steamed about the inaccuracies and misquotes Tony wrote that involved him.
      I also find it fascinating that the print edition was not available in every city. Here where I live that edition never showed up on the magazine racks. I have read that Newsweek is going to drop their print edition but they have not done that yet so it’s quite strange that it was never available here.

  6. The first line of the poem leads me to believe the actual treasure is in a safe deposit box. The box contains paper work transfering title to the treasure. If he is messed with you get nothing!

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