Scrapbook Ninety Seven…




There are three animals in the forest that don’t play fair and all others try to avoid: the skunk, the rattlesnake, and the porcupine. I made this gallon bronze jar with a screw-on lid after witnessing an unfortunate event near Hebgen Lake. I plan to fill it with things that will be fun to see in the year 5,450 when someone might unearth it. I want to bury it this year. Can anyone suggest what I should put in it, besides my autobiography?






I want to bury it this year.
Can anyone suggest what I should put in it, besides my autobiography?

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179 thoughts on “Scrapbook Ninety Seven…

    • Porcupine facts

      The name “porcupine” comes from Latin porcus pig + spina spine, quill, via Old Italian—Middle French—Middle English. A regional American name for the animal is quill pig. Similarly, the German name, Stachelschwein, means “thorn-swine”.

      Some New World porcupines live in wooded area trees, but Old World porcupines stay on the rocks.

      The two subfamilies of New World porcupines are mostly smaller (although the North American porcupine reaches about 85 cm or 33 in in length and 18 kg or 40 lb), have their quills attached singly rather than grouped in clusters, and are excellent climbers, spending much of their time in trees.

      Porcupine quills have recently inspired a new type of hypodermic needle. Due to backward-facing barbs on the quills, when used as needles, they are particularly good at two things – penetrating the skin and remaining in place.

      More commonly, their quills and guardhairs are used for traditional decorative clothing. For example, their guardhairs are used in the creation of the Native American “porky roach” headdress. The main quills may be dyed, and then applied in combination with thread to embellish leather accessories such as knife sheaths and leather bags. Lakota women would harvest the quills for quillwork by throwing a blanket over a porcupine and retrieving the quills it left stuck in the blanket.

      Porcupines are only occasionally eaten in Western culture, but are very popular in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam

      The North American porcupine is a herbivore; it eats leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. In the winter, it may eat bark. It often climbs trees to find food.

      The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy.

  1. Yes, put the exact meanings of the nine clues and directions to the treasure in it. That way who ever digs up the jar will win the Thrill of the Chase lottery!

    Seriously, you should put some photos of your other beautiful artifacts, along with a description of how you came to bury the jar. (Maybe add some gold coins)

  2. I definitely think that you should put why you buried the jar, how you made the jar, the front page of a newspaper from the day you bury it or close to it, your name and contact info, things that you love like an arrowhead, pictures of you and your family including pets, a list of your favorite things, and maybe 4 special treasures in case more than one person finds it at the same time like a family or couple or something, a lot of different rocks or gems, maybe a rabbits foot or tooth from something.

    I want to go and help you bury it! I can keep a secret.

  3. There’s only a month and a half to go Forrest ! A collection of general every day doo-dads from this time period would make a traditional time capsule. Maybe some of Peggy’s spices that you don’t particularly care for ? Hiding more of your collectibles seems plausible only if you are not attached to them…a gallon container could hold quite a bit. Maybe a CD of some of your favorite songs through the times. The lid of this bronze jar is very nice.

  4. A cool tie, a dried flower, a Twinkie, bottle of scotch or whiskey, glass to drink from, lighter and some sparklers, thin blanket, candle..heck- put a whole picnic in that baby 🙂

  5. What a beautiful container Forrest, and so big! It looks like it could easily hold some examples from your Native American collection like a doll, pair of moccasins, small piece of pottery, an arrowhead, a necklace, and maybe some gold nuggets plus an explanation of what the items are and where they were found. I know I’d love to find those items in that jar but even if it was empty, !’d be thrilled with the discovery! 🙂

    • PS I have witnessed more than a few unfortunate incidents between porcupines and my dogs! One time we had to take one of our dogs to the vet at 3am one morning to get about 500 quills removed from his snout, mouth, tongue, face and chest. He had to be sedated for the procedure and put on antibiotics afterwards. I was still pulling out quill pieces a month later!

  6. I would include a Swiss army knife (the kind with all the different gadgets), a pair of dice, a whistle, a new toothbrush (the curvy kind for reaching back teeth), a deck of cards, 3 new teabags, 2 pencils & a sharpener, a small box of birthday candles, 5 dried peach pits, crayons, paperclips, a harmonica, 3 turkey wishbones, a used postcard, a table fork, chapstick, a tiny bottle of whiskey, a comb, bubblegum, & a shoe horn.

  7. FForrest . I would like you to ask your children and your grand children what favorite thing you’ve showed them that you have that would fit in the jar with a story telling there name why they chose that item how old they are at the time and that it was from them how it was put in the jar.

  8. The Dead Sea Scrolls are quite phenomenal after all these years. You could make smaller copies of all your books on paper that will last and put them in. That would be quite a surprising find for future man. They’ll likely go around the world to prominent museums that showcase items of “ancient man”.

    I’d also recommend putting in a replica of The Statue of Liberty.

  9. I would makeup a tablet on a bronze plaque that has no meaning and written in symbols that can’t be translated so that way in 3436 years it would be a unsolved mystery.

    • Great idea, William. But put in just enough decipherable info to make others believe it’s a map to a treasure worth over 17 trillion dollars…left here by aliens who were allergic to gold on their home planet…so they brought all the gold here…and stashed it in one location…like under the home of Smith…or something like that. 🙂

  10. how bout a Mcdonalds cheese burger? – they will be fascinated that we ate this stuff. plus it should still be fresh 🙂

      • And, please Forrest, put in a Sacagawea dollar…..for what IT represents!! IT should NEVER be forgotten. I’m certain that SHE will be pleased in the future. 🙂

  11. How about a set of your cloths including your hat, boots, buckle and bracelet. Do I win a prize? Oh I almost forgot I need to get that to ya… coming soon (in the next ten years) 🙂

  12. My photo taken spring 2015 with Mr. Fenn and his treasure box… and a copy of my poem for Genetation 5XXX to solve.

    Don’t bury it until I find your TC

  13. Well Fenn, what fun things would you have wanted a good ol boy from 1500 BC to put in his time capsule? I’m not sure if we would understand his sense of humor. I suppose some of the decision depends on what you think the world will be like in 3,436 years.

    I would vacuum seal a smart phone and put it in there with lots of pictures, videos, and a copy of all the emails about the chase……If the finder knows about the chase he would appreciate the irony of that. Might as well put the solution to the poem and a picture of the hidey spot on the phone also; that will give two chances for the chest to be found. From the latest comments I seriously doubt any of us are going to find it. 🙂

    It probably doesn’t matter what you put in there; in 3,436 years most of the population will be useless clumps of gray matter without a clue about what’s going on in the real world imprisoned by machines.

    ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’

  14. Goofy

    Where’s the positive side of the chest being found in our lifetime.
    Such a negative comment 🙂 lol

    I’m determined only until I do my last search next year:) !!!!!

    • A scrach off ticket, an olive jar of fossil fuel sealed in wax, a key to room 4 at the dude, 1 share of facebook stock,, a flash drive of hoD (some know meaning), a crushed coors light can, 1st gen ipod, a pkg of pop rocks.

  15. A recorded message/video for the future finders of the jar.

    A detailed historic timeline. Maybe include a history DVD(s) or thumb drive(s).

    Everyday things we use currently such as disposable razors etc.

    Please include a request. If they are still pricing things like this: “A new car for only $24,999.99!” ask them to just make it $25k. We have seen this one penny away pricing our entire lives and have outgrown it. Thank you.

    Another clue to the poem.

  16. Since this year is 5775 you might include a time traveling device, a mummified falcon, a necklace, a beaded baby shoe, and a hood ornament.
    I could provide my beaded baby shoes. I also have a handmade telescope that my grandfather found while plowing a farm on the Hart river in North Dakota. It was on the Lewis and Clark trail. Some early trapper or soldier must have dropped it. A good find.

  17. I’ve had three very close calls with the rattlesnake this year. I think they just wanted to protect themselves; I had wandered into there territory.

      • Ed, the obscure news sometimes can give the real feel for the times!

        Read past the glitz and find the heartbeat of daily life. Enjoy those old advertisements also – there’s a thought.

  18. Forrest
    How about a carved Buffalo horn,some porcupine quills, an Eagles claw,a rabbits foot,some dried sage bush leafs,some pine nuts,a coon cap and moccasins.
    Top it off with a small leather pouch of minerals and beads.
    Now I would be thrilled if I found something like this.

  19. I find it interesting that the defenses of the three animals mentioned could represent 3 of the 5 senses. Skunk….smell, Rattlesnake…..hearing, porcupine…..touch. Does this lead us anywhere?

  20. A copy of some of your blog posts, a ladies hair curler, one of your can art pieces, pictures of some of your favorite pieces you own, a couple of your hairs, some pepper, a few marbles, your toy plane, some miniature “homeboys”, one of my bracelets lol, small bells, a tiny pot made by Peggy,a picture of you two on your wedding day, anything that makes you laugh. 🙂

  21. I will donate my I-Phone with a full charge to put in the jar. Need to download an app first though. Maybe include a list of the names of your Wei Army to acknowledge the good job they are doing. This would assure they are remembered as well. Lastly maybe cut the toe off one of your boots and throw in there to represent how you’ve kicked our ass in the Chase

  22. I would like you to put some of the things you have read in the various thrill of the chase blogs that made you laugh. It will be an interesting read for someone in the future that finds it. Esp with you wonderful ability to help a person visualize it through the written word.

  23. Mr. Fenn – Do you honestly think our country will exist anywhere near it’s present form by then? We may have gone full circle by then – so maybe a nice piece of flint with directions ( in picture form of coarse) to make Fire 😉

  24. Forrest, I think the rusty old skinning knife with the antler handle would be a wonderful choice. All that character you wondered what you could do with would compliment your autobiography in a fun way.

    You might include a roll of duct tape for removing quills and securing things that move and shouldn’t. There are many patterns and colors to choose from. It could also serve as a colorful tourniquet in case of snake bite. A clothespin,,,

    Sprinkle in a few polished gemstones and minerals from New Mexico and put in a can of 3 in 1 oil for when things don’t move and should.

    I personally love your belt buckle and imagine you without it. But that’s just me. It’s late here and I’m afraid I am rambling. Nite nite all.

  25. well mr. forrest,I don’t think this world will be around that long.but if it is put a pencil and pen in it as,you won;’t see that much longer,a piece of paper image of a snake,porcupine and a skunk,as they probably won’t be around either,marbles,jacks,a picture of you.because i’m sure they’d want to know who this fellow forrest fenn looked like..paper clip.there is so much stuff you could put in there that you know that won’t be around much longer .anyway by that time by the way things are going,people may only be grunting again,like the stone age .can’t talk anymore .they forgot how with all the high tech.haha.but you could send that pretty jar you made to me,or make me one,i like dragon flys and butterflies.i would love something you made.i enjoy you so much.i wish I could see you again.take care .love you bunches Virginia help me so much,you’ll never know,and I thank you for that.

  26. Your best wishes and hopes for the person who finds it.

    If you can find a way? Put in all of the wanderlust and hope for the future that you have. *No solves or clues needed*

    For all of those asking for hints or clues? I’m sorry….

    I would want you to post a simple note –

    “Hi… fellow traveler. I am like you – a curious seeker.

    Congratulations! You found a small piece of myself left to history. Do me a favor? See if the wind is at your back…. Look at the sun shining in your face. Remember – always – that we are all here for a brief moment and we must cherish every second of every day.

    You are here to do amazing things. Leave your mark, as I have.”

    Thank you for and epic quest, Mr. Fenn. I look forward to meeting you someday.

    • Riley,
      Perfect. Your simple wisdom is exactly what I would love to find upon opening Forrest’s time capsule. And btw, perfection doesn’t happen often, so enjoy your victory today. May the sunshine warm your soul.

  27. Climb Mt your brain in jar along with a description of which body to put it back in. Then place it next to your body and cover in snow. Chances are in 3500 years they will know how to reverse engineer this simple feat…

  28. Forrest how about two horse shoes. Or maybe something of your parents, brother, and sister, so they can be remembered right along with you. You could put your autobiography right in the middle.

  29. How about casting bronze coins with a likeness of each member of the Fenn family clan with their particulars on the reverse and placing them in the jar? You could also include souvineer coins from National Parks or other beautiful places on earth with their coordinates just so the person making the discovery in 5450 can determine if these places still exist. Coins with animals of today?
    A Thrill of the Chase coin would be a nice addition.

    • You know, that’s a really good idea, Joe. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to have a Forrest Fenn Challenge Coin? Especially if there was only one coin ever made with a very limited number…and each one individually numbered and/or incribed by Forrest with his initials. I know a guy who had some coins made to give to those involved in a historic restoration and preservation project at Los Alamos…which is very near to where I believe the treasure is. They could really be worth something in the future…especially if there were only a hundred or less…or maybe a larger lot with only a few “special” ones. Just an idea.

  30. If I was the one to find the jar I would be delighted to find in it your story about what you witnessed at Hebgen Lake and what led you to make the jar. I’m sure all of us would love to hear the story even without finding the jar! Could I add one more animal to your list who all others try to avoid in the woods–most humans especially those with guns who think everything in the woods is there for them to shoot. Ok, no stone throwing please…..

    • Mr. Fenn, you mentioned that in ancient cultures jewelry (art) and religion always find their place, among the tools for survival/work. Why don’t you design a piece of jewelry that tells about your spirituality – for the bronze jar? I’m certain the future would also appreciate an explanation penned by the artist, so they aren’t just guessing at the meaning like so many archaeologists must with their discoveries.

  31. Mr. Fenn, surely your autobiography is enough. I can only imagine anyone in the future would be as delighted to read your stories as I am. Throw in some pictures. I know a lot of people who tell a lot of tales but you, Mr. Fenn, have the pictures and pieces to back your stories up. I love that about you.

  32. Put in a dictionary and a new poem with clues to a new hidden treasure. No telling what a few thousands years will do to the diffinition of words.

  33. Dear Mr. Fenn,
    To commemorate all those (including me) searching for the chest, perhaps you could fill it with chestnuts. I consider you an expert on all things chest related, including nuts, so I would appreciate your input. I will be making Christmas cookies, little almond sugar cookies. Normally I put a cherry or pecan in the middle, but am considering instead using chestnuts. In your opinion is this a good idea- or more of a chest-not?
    Ever so curious…

  34. Mr. Fenn

    What if you make up a list (from Dal’s blog) of all participants in the treasure hunt. It should be just a name and location for each and every searcher involved. Everyone submits this info to a select page and have Dal print off the list and enclose it in the jar. Each person lists ONLY their name and location. You could add you own words to the heading of the list with any comments you wish.

  35. I think the contents should be a story based on the intended burial location of the Jar.
    Each item should relate to the location, metaphorically or literally.
    Then each piece should be introduced through the scrapbooks …one at a time.

  36. Place in the jar a solid silver pyramid with the ratio 7/11 the same as the great pyramid.
    Inscribe on one side a crescent moon.
    On the opposing side an egyptian symbol for water
    The 3rd and 4th sides an eye

    It would read ( Silver – Watch – Water – Watch ) or (Water-Watch-Silver-Watch) or (Watch – Water – Watch – Silver) or ( Watch – Silver – Watch – Water )

    However you read it it means the same thing.

    The Electrical Character of Silver which is the most conductive of the natural metals.

  37. A frog in a tuxedo with a miniature martini glass. Add a little music player with some Leon Redbone on repeat and some dance instructions. By 5450 the little guy should be able to put on a great show.

  38. The bigger question should be asked of Forrest. How certain he is that the chest is still out there 50-50, hundred percent, 90% you get my drift.

  39. Mr. Fenn, you are a true artist. But, I have a couple questions.
    When did you make the jar?
    I only see a porcupine and buffalo, I am not seeing the skunk and the rattlesnake; what was the unfortunate event?

  40. Without knowledge of the event and your reason for crafting it, an accurate suggestion for it’s contents is difficult, at best.

    • jj, my guess is that the poor buffalo got a little to inquisitive and ended up with a snout full of quills. A wild animal that has that type of encounter with a porcupine will probably end up dying as they will not be able to eat because of the pain and the embedded quills will become infected and the animal may become septic. If we had not been able to take our dog to a vet who was able to sedate him, we would not have been able to remove all those quills. Because of the barbs on the end of the quills, the flesh is torn when pulling them out and is extremely painful. Some of the barbs that had gone through our dogs tongue were able to be clipped off and then pulled completely through the tongue. I hope that’s not too graphic of an explanation! 🙂

  41. a skunk stinks,a rattlesnake can kill,and a porcupine can put a lot of hurt on someone.some people can stink,kill and put a lot of hurt ,by doing things they should not do to our land and each other. maybe he witnessed at hebgen lake.maybe he is saying screw on it. they don’t play fair.they destroy.

  42. Not playing fair would be like you winning a race in alaska in winter because you decided to run naked. If you dont get how that could work then your not used to bending the rules… 🙂

  43. Write up a completely fictitious historical record of the place where you’re going to bury it…… That’d get them wondering…….


    a blood sample/DNA, strand of hair, a dictionary comprising the world’s languages (like the Rosetta Stone), a schematic of an internal combustion engine and a jar of oil (since this time period will probably be known as the Age of Oil), maybe some corn, soybeans, wheat, etc (so they know what we eat), a map of the world with current political boundaries……..


    You should just put Schrodinger’s cat in the jar…… Surely by 5450, a theoretical physicist will figure out whether it’s alive or dead.

  44. I would suggest placing the following items:
    – one coin of each denomination from 2014.
    – the latest high speed graphics card (so they can laugh at our inferior technology )
    – marbles
    – your favourite football team logo
    – your rank from when you were an enlisted man
    – a set of your wings
    – seeds from your favourite fruit
    – music from a good ole Canadian band 5440 (just in case they find it ten years early
    – more marbles
    – that remaining bottle of Kennedy brandy.
    – a 1937d Buffalo Nickel or more preferably a Liberty Nickel from 1913.
    – an aluminum penny
    – a wooden nickel form Deadwood
    – small carving of a polar bear or beaver (to illustrate good relations with your favourite neighbour)
    – a picture of Skippy with his favourite car. (I like Skippy)
    – a carving of a cow and a horse (preferably from a breed with prominent blazes)
    – rosary beads just in case Catholics are still around
    – your favourite monopoly token
    – a feather
    – a bullet
    – some dice
    – seeds from your favourite fruit (I am sure they won’t exist anymore by then)
    – railroad spike – symbol of our archaic transportation of the time
    – a vile of nasty chemicals to demonstrate your awareness of the environment
    – a small model of your favourite aircraft (suggest not the largest so they don’t think you are compensating for something)
    – and of course an owl maybe even mummified incase they want to X-ray it!
    – a silver wolf

    That should get you started, enjoy your hunting!
    The Wolf

  45. The year 5450? How are you going to time that to be found then?

    A couple of things you could do with timing that………..

    As for what is to be placed in your space capsule………….

    Put on a sheet of paper one word “ROSEBUD”

  46. On my last search, I inadvertently left a time capsule behind…my camera fell out of my pocket while I was squeezing through some rocks and bushes and I looked and I looked and it’s gone! my guess is 100 years! 🙂

  47. Well, in 5450, when I crawled up from underground in my has mat suit and I dig through the tailings and find it, I’d want to know who made it and why? And what was the world like back then?

  48. Trade beads, heirloom Anasazi beans, squash and corn seeds, turquoise bead for protection and advice from an elder on how to make a better world…

  49. Someone could make a very strong case for an area in Colorado out of what Forrest posted.
    I drive by one of those little green elevation signs just about every day that has the numbers 5450 on it : ).

  50. Put DEL and ESC keybord keys inside. Also, include monoply pieces and an African shrunken head. Leave a note saying telling the finder about the good ol’ days.

  51. Mr. Fenn
    Are you really putting this out there?
    I can see how this chase might have put you in a solitude but this is out there.

    I for one would love to come and talk and hear about anything other then the chest. I have never met you yet but I believe there is time for that. I am sure you are filled with stories. As I loved sitting with my dad and listening to his from when he was young and even when he was in the Airforce. (Not a pilot but a fire fighter on the air strips and then went on to radar school and other things.

    I would love to have coffee if your not busy in the next day or so.

    Anyway, back to this…. It’s kind of creepy. But I will take it is for Holloween

    • I guess it is not Halloween. I am sorry if you witnessed that, Where you there?

      I did not mean to offend. The jar is still creepy to me but in the eyes of the art’s creator intentions needs to be considered.

  52. 1. Set of coordinates [of the treasure chest]. No explanation of what the coordinates are for…let the future finder try and figure it out.

    2. A list of all the Countries and Continent as they are in present day or map of the USA, with states and Capitals. I wonder myself how different the world would be in 5450.

    3. Not unlike the Voyager I – Recordings. Information that future generations would be able to play… Sounds of Nature, Children saying hello, music of this time period, etc. I could imagine most of those sounds would be lost to time…

    • Seeker and Forrest,

      Why not a mini-DVD with the song “We’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” by The New Seekers. It may end up being played when the world is in complete turmoil, under the leadership of the New World Order.

      • New world order…complete turmoil… sounds like present day to me… lol

        Seriously, I wonder how much information from this time period, with all it’s technology, would still be lost 3 – 4 or even 5000 years down the road.

  53. few things should be placed in I recommend… To give the would-be Finder a good laugh in a few thousand years…

    1. A TV remote

    2. Family photo

    3. A banana (yes let it become petrified)

    4. A fake rubber rattle snake : )

    5. Two poker cards… The Joker and an Ace of spades

    6. The thrill of the Chase poem.. And a note to go find the Gold..

    7. Your favorite watch… Because time is just a number!!!

    Forrest, if you put any of these in there.. Give me the satisfaction that one of my dumb ideas scored! : )

    Email me a quick note:


  54. Wow, I am leaving the 164th comment, so Mr. Fenn may never read this, but here is what I would put in the jar.

    A pink ribbon to remind the world that there was once no complete cure for cancer.

    A war medal, to remind the world that we once fought for our freedom and the country in which we live.

    A love note written in handwriting on lined or unlined paper, to remind the world we once used our hands to convey messages through writing with a pen and ink, and also to remind the world we used to speak face to face.

    A lollipop, a bouncy ball, and a marble, to remind the world that pleasures can be simple.

    A feather from a bird that is rare today, so the world will remember what they’ve lost through the destruction of habitat.

    A heart locket with a picture of your wife inside, so that in the year 5450, the world will know she is still in your heart.

    And maybe a vial of skunk spray, to show the world we had a sense of humor. 🙂

  55. Mindy, you’ve reignited some artistic passions on my bucket list. I’m signing up for a calligraphy class this year, and tomorrow I’m purchasing sealing wax and a signet stamp…to write a Thank you note to Forrest in appropriate 12th century script and seal it with a V for victory or T for Treasured Thanks!! I’ve always wanted an antique intaglio ring with my own signet but an inexpensive sealing stamp will be equaly fun.

  56. How about Argos… Or at least near it. Why? Well it is one of the oldest cities on earth and people have been around that area for like 7000 years already, they may be around for another 7000. Unless we have too choose where on this continent. Then I would have to get back to you.

  57. Okay, Well I have a much better Idea Mr.Fenn.
    I believe this is a UTE story of the buffalo and the porky pine. A great lesson to read.
    According to the Southern Ute people , they are the oldest people in Colorado. They’re oral tradition is that they have been there from the creation of the world. The Container should be placed in one of two places, at least in my mind. 1. Pikes Peak. This is a Ute Scared place
    2. Which is closer to you in Northern New Mexico, Maybe Rabbit Peak area.
    A great place to tell a great tail… Cool , Thanks for the study Brother F…..

  58. What to put in it , Buffalo bone, porky pine needle, skunk fur, a Golden eagle feather, Ute arrow head and flint , a common root of the Ute if possible, and a Story of the Ute and the Spanish horse of the 1500’s, and of course the story of the buffalo and the porky pine in all languages and why you wanted it found. Along with some information of the things we do well now and what we don’t. Of course some artifacts from you famed collection… I think that’s all…… Lol

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