Finding Fenn – Part One…

SUBMITTED march 2015

Finding Fenn Part One

The agony of defeat became excruciatingly painful.  Months of research, consulting lawyers, appeasing ownership laws and devising the ultimate plan had just been wiped out by a single trivial event.  I feel my treasure hunting career is rapidly coming to an abrupt halt, and we are not talking “warm waters” type halt either!  The realization that I once again disappointed another family member had become too much to bear.  I have just been dealt four cards and a joker and I must play them whether I like it or not.  Wait! I did not travel all this way to fail; not on my watch!  This maverick is about to make the biggest bluff, this million dollar poker game “The Thrill of the Chase” has ever seen.  This will be the biggest gamble of my life.  This will be our finest hour!

Now I suppose you are all wondering how I got into this mess. Well it all started back in the middle of May.  Alex, my son, flew in from Winnipeg and we met at the Denver airport.  We had not seen each other since Christmas so I was very happy to see his smiling face.  He was the last remaining member of my family to accompany me on the chase and right away he was telling me all about the Denver airport and the beautiful murals painted on the walls. I guess the “research gene” runs in the family after all!  We took a few photos together and then loaded up the rental car and headed towards Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


There was a freak storm that just pushed in and it soon started to snow.  We drove almost to the top of the mountain where the I-70 entered the Eisenhower tunnel when traffic ground to a halt.  At elevation 11,000 feet, it had begun to snow and some dumb truck ahead of us went off the road so they had closed the highway all the way to Vail.  With no choice, we turned around and managed to get the last hotel room in Georgetown.  We gathered some supplies for the night which included the Forrest Fenn recommended six pack of beer for our anticipated celebration.  That night we discussed, with great enthusiasm, our fool-proof solution and I enjoyed listening to Alex’s very interesting interpretations of what each clue meant.

Alex wondered why I changed my primary search area of New Mexico to Colorado.  I told him that I had been working on a key that would unlock the poem and tie all of the clues together.  Since technically the opening line preceding the poem “… will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure” is part of the poem. In the spirit of finding Fenn, I felt I must solve “his rainbow.”  Mr. Fenn hinted the searcher required a flashlight and that “a few were in ‘tight focus’ of a word that is key” drilled deep into my cognitive thought process when I was watching a movie on my TV wall projector. It malfunctioned and projected a rainbow across the screen. My concept is also sparked by quote, “… looking through the prism, of vodka raspberry and lime” from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven Nevermore, which Forrest Fenn would later hint.  I reasoned a tightly focussed beam of light from a flashlight onto a prism-like object created a rainbow.  I was researching in New Mexico near the Hardy mine which produced Icelandic spar.  It also produced beryl, a known product associated with rubies.  Since I believe the chest and its contents contain information related to the clues or the hiding place, I became very excited when I realized that Hemingway developed the Iceberg theory of writing.  Forrest made an obvious attempt to hint at Hemingway when he purposely stated Hemingway’s book, For Whom the Bell Tolls, was about World War I.  Near the town of Dixon, New Mexico, there exists a mining claim called the Iceberg claim that contained optical grade Icelandic spar and it was originally owned by one Juan A. Brown of Embudo, New Mexico.  The problem was I couldn’t make a solution work in that location despite the fact that Mr. Fenn placed a piece of that Icelandic spar in Rannelle Jacobson’s raffle prize jar.  I became deflated when Forrest Fenn told Ali McGraw that the object I was so excited about was a crystal.  Finally I capitulated and conceded that that object was just a plan old crystal but I was rejuvenated when I discovered Forrest had a very touching story, “Sunday kind of Love”.  As a child, Forrest received a crystal radio built by Skippy and it did not have any batteries or speakers, so he would listen to the only channel it received late at night when he went to bed.  His favourite singer went by the name of Fran Warren (Francis Wolfe) and when he met her in Las Vegas several years later, he told her that he fell in love with her as a child and he explained how special she was to him because Skippy’s radio brought back old childhood memories. I couldn’t help but to notice this story suggested a different meaning of what is “special” to Forrest.  When I read about Fran Warren, I noted she sang Look to the Rainbow and participated in the film Abbott and Costello meet Capt Kidd and Finian’s Rainbow.  The reference to “rainbow” and “Capt Kidd” suspiciously framed the poem in his memoir.

I noted the word “crystal” is derived from the ancient Greek word krustallos, meaning both ice and rock crystal from kruos, “icy cold, frost.”  I concluded “crystal” could be the illusive “word that is key” that only a few searchers have been tightly focused on since it is the Greek word for “ice” or “cold” as in “your effort will be worth the cold.”  There has been a lot of talk about the Roman and Greek connection to the poem and this appeared to be the Greek part. I decided to try a few “locks” and see where my new “key” would take me. Alex suddenly perked up and gazed at me with an inquisitive look that I rarely see.  I had his attention at last, so I took the opportunity to continue the story.

I couldn’t find anything interesting in New Mexico but when I looked into Colorado, the state he seldom mentions if at all, it all came together.  “Well Alex.” I said, “there is a Crystal River in a remote part of central Colorado that is linked to the 1994 movie Maverick. The movie begins in a fictional town called Crystal River and it is about a gambler named Maverick who wants to be the best and all of the country’s best poker players travel from far and wide to gamble for the $500,000, winner take all, prize.”  We laughed as we recognize the similarities to our adventure, the thrill of the chase.  But the word “maverick” really sinks in because he wrote on the dust cover, of the same named book, that one needs “enough confidence in a maverick.” The fact that he has verbally mentioned that he is a maverick and then gives this clue is something to get excited about!  I concluded by saying, “It is getting late and we have an early morning tomorrow.  I will explain the rest as we follow the clues to the treasure.”

The next day I cleared six inches of cold snow from the car and we headed out around 5:30 am.  The weather wasn’t initially very promising, so I drove fairly slow for the first hour and once we were on the other side of the continental divide the weather started to improve.  When we reached Glenwood Springs, we stocked up on supplies and gas, because where we were going the nearest gas and cellphone service is thirty minutes away.  Communication with home base is very important when adventuring in the mountains but more importantly, being away from instant technology prevents Alex from reverting to his zombie like computer game mode. You know the look, the one where your child stares at you with eyes that look like a set of spinning pinwheels!

After we travelled ten miles south of the town of Carbondale we arrived at the start point, “where warm waters halt.”  It was located at a narrowing in a very beautiful canyon pass. We got out of the car and the snow was falling at a moderate pace.  The Crystal River roared by as I pointed to two small circular pools made of rocks on the river bank.  “This is it?!” Alex asked with scepticism.  I explained to him that Forrest is a very spiritual and sentimental man.  He spoke very fondly of river bathing as a child in the Firehole River at Ojo Caliente geyser in Yellowstone.  I reminded him of the Fran Warren experience and then stated that Yellowstone itself is too big of a hint, thus I reasoned it must be a parallelism of his special place that he stumbled across when flying his plane to random locations in the Rockies.  The reason that there are two riverside hot spring pools or “hot pots” at this location explains why “water” in the poem’s clue, “begin it where warm waters halts” is a plural.  If it was just one pool, then Forrest would have used the statement ‘warm water’.”  Alex seemed to buy into this explanation but wondered how I equated warm water to a hot water spring when it is supposed to be just warm.  “Good question,” I snapped, “well if you feel the water and note the river rocks funnel some cold river water into the pool and the mixing with hot water makes it warm and it is in this rock barrier pool that the warm of the water halts.”  Alex seemed quite content with this explanation and his eyes were telling me this is too simple. Before he could get the words out, I explained, “ Well Alex, Mr. Fenn claims that too many searchers are overthinking it, so this is as straight forward as you can get.” Then I quoted an email from Mr. Fenn that Dal Neitzel posted after he searched the Manby riverside hot spring, “I wonder how many times Manby and Dunn swirled the warm water around their cold bodies on a February morning so many years ago.” I emphasized that Forrest used the word “warm water” in reference to a “hot” pot.

“But what separates this hot pot from any other of the thousands out there, other than the connection to crystal?”, he retorted.

“Very good question my intuitive son”, I replied.  I began to explain to him, “President Nixon ran into big trouble during the Watergate Scandal and the Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward was hot on his trail trying to put the clues together, just like we are here.”  He started to give me that “where is my game boy? I need to tune out” look so I urged him to stay with me. I went on to say that these two reporters met in an underground parking lot with a secretive character named “Deep Throat” where he told him them to “follow the money.”  Alex suddenly showed that teenage boy’s look of sudden interest and I naively convince myself that it is my exciting story telling that got his attention and not the interesting names of the characters in my story.  I take out my copy of The Thrill of the Chase and open it to the chapter My Spanish Toy Factory.  Since Alex loves money I thought he would enjoy hearing how the millionaire Forrest Fenn got his entrepreneurial start, but quickly regretted it when I realized that he started out making marbles and wooden tops in Spanish class, rather than paying attention.  Oh, well it was too late so I continued.  I believe this chapter contains some powerful hints that define the clues because Mr. Fenn hinted that we need to bring a sandwich. Many, including myself at first, took that comment literally but if Mr. Fenn is as clever as I believe him to be, he used that “sandwich” as marker or indicator to the hint.  If so I believe the fact that the word “sandwich” appears in the first paragraph of this story he is hinting that there are hints in this chapter.

I questioned, “Alex when you read this chapter, Forrest mentions every coin but which?”  “The Penny” he proudly announces like he had just received an “A” in his latest exam. “Thats right Alex!” I said with a proud fatherly smile, “And guess what this hot spring is called?  That is right, ‘Penny Hot Springs’, so you see we begin following the money trail right here.”  I throw in a few more examples of Forrest’s hint of money just for good measure, such as the fact he incorrectly spelled dollar like “doller” on one of his bronze jars and “for he who dies with over fifty dollars is a failure”.

We took a few pictures and I asked Alex to jump into the hot pot so I can take a few  pictures and he gives me that “you know where you can go” look and he starts to hold his nose as he protests the sulphur smell that strengthens exponentially as we near the pool.  I anoint Alex with the water from the hot spring and I ceremonially declare our quest underway.



Next I explain to Alex that we must now “take it in the canyon down”.  He asks, “what is it?” and he points down stream. I told him that “it” is a kayak and that we were not going down canyon and he protests, “But the poem says we should.”  I retorted that several people got the first two clues correct but went right on by the other seven.  As he gazed at me with that “what the hell are you talking about look”, I quickly explained if you substitute “it” with kayak and realize that “down” as in “take it in the canyon down” is a preposition.  Also realize that “put in” is a nautical term for where you insert your kayak and then you take it out of the river at the “take out” point down stream. The sentence in the poem reads more precisely: “Take the kayak, in the canyon down, and put it below the home of Brown.”  Since we are dealing with a poem it is easier to understand the sentence in plain english, but it helps if you consider the fact he is telling you where to begin from the perspective that he is already at the home of Brown when he wrote it.  Thus it reads, “Take (out) the kayak from down in the canyon and bring it (up stream) and put it in below the home of Brown.” Now that I have him totally baffled I tell him that “down” also means south so we head south and up stream.

So now for the next clue we need to understand how far is too far to walk, yet not too far.  I explain to Alex that this whole concept is analogous to the story Mr. Fenn tells in the preface of his book too far to walk, where he floated in a rubber raft down the river and walked back.  He defines that distance to be at least ten river miles.  We jump into our car and trundle along the snow cover highway and stop at the town of Redstone and I laugh out loud.  Sure the town name reminds me of the story Tea with Olga where Mr. Fenn talks about the three tea colours with one of them being red but logically the missing tea he is hinting at is “white” which I speculate to be the colour of the blaze.  I laughed because not only is Alex still trying to figure out that “take it in the canyon down” clue but also because in front of the Redstone Inn is a tin soldier or a silver knight with a raven perched on his arm.


The significance of raven comes from Forrest’s hints to the Edgar Allan Poe poem, “The Raven Nevermore.”  Alex wonders what is so funny and I explain to him how Forrest mentioned in one of his scrapbook entries the song “One Tin Soldier.”  This is a very special song that brought me to tears when I first heard it.  It is an anti-war song where the valley people want the hidden treasure that the mountain people are rumoured to hold. The King of mountain people tell the valley people that they are willing to share the treasure but instead the valley people wage war and kill all the mountain people and they roll the rock over and underneath it reads “peace on earth.” That message hit me like a ton of bricks. To experience the horrors of war in the name of peace can be hypocritical in so many ways and I am beginning to understand the message this quest is delivering.  For trivia purposes and to impress upon my son I state this song was number one in Canada in 1969 but for some reason only 34th in the USA, we joke it is because Canadians understand peace better but concede it more likely that we just aren’t as brave.  As I comment to Alex that the shiny knight is a good omen to our “quest”, I noticed several bee hive shaped “coke” ovens and we feel that we are hot on the trail when we discuss the coincidence of the frequent references to the coca cola and Forrest’s childhood soda pop lid collection.

The Wolf

304 thoughts on “Finding Fenn – Part One…

  1. Strangely it seems in your search story when you pay attention to something it becomes integrated into your search unexpectedly. IMO that might just be the key to unlocking the poem, staying flexible with the emergent slues. Nice story!

    • slue [slo̵̅o̅]

      transitive verb, intransitive verb
      slued, sluing

      to turn or swing around, as on a pivot or fixed point

      Origin of slue
      ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps

      What if finding Fenn’s treasure is also Forrest finding you as his treasure? You solve his poem and it leads back to you. Double Omega…a mirrored match.

      Occurred to me when the New Year passed into 2015 this may be the case…..but it’s only a theory.

  2. Amazing story Wolf thanks for sharing… I’m a little surprised you are sharing so much info… Is there something your not telling us????
    Is that statue made from car bumpers? I love that song too “One Tin Soldier” but I can see Canada from my house

  3. Wolf I have enjoyed your story so far. I think I may know where you are headed. I think this is a promising area, although I arrived in the general vicinity (perhaps the same map page) by different means.

  4. Love Billy Jack. I’m a little tired of people only telling us half the story. When do we get the rest of the story Dal and Wolf? And Wolf, why did y’all go there in the snowy time and not wait until it was warm again?

  5. Wolf, your attention to detail is a great gift, if this poem is ever solved it will take cooperation from critical, objective minds. Remember what ff says, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” I am sure you have noticed that ff intentionally misspelled on pg 139 the word knowlege on the bronze jar next to the feminine form (same form on the TC) doing this after correctly spelling knowledge on the bronze bell page 136, it becomes a quandary and he curiously inserts the words “better than”, perhaps to save room in the casting but different none the less.

    ff is certainly a wordsmith and nothing in his works is done without careful consideration and thought, he is a master of detail and deception, so if you or me are ever to put together a template to solve the riddle we do indeed need to cooperate and use our collective imaginations.

    As you stated he is a Maverick, joker, trickster and as we native american’s like to say he is the wile e coyote genius. That said, the template is to look for the joker, like chapter 45 in Too Far To Walk where ff states that someone shot Alexander Hamilton in the head, the problem is Franklin is on the $100 bill they shot at , not Hamilton. However Hamilton was shot in the abdomen in a duel with Aaron Burr, so how does this template work in our poem? Could it be that the words like “ever drawing nigh” “tarry scant” and “Put in” are the keys to the solve?

    Your attention to the fact that ff misspelled dollar (doller) and other observations you make show great insight, it will take that type of insight to get to #3 clue and since you once searched NM extensively think back to the reasons why.

    ff said that some of the early searchers had solved the first 2 clues, but I do not believe they knew it. Imagine in the very beginning of this quest in 2011/12/13 all we knew was the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, they are primarily referred to as the “Sangre De Cristos” a part of them are in Colorado also., called the Wet mountains, near Canyon City and below Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River, the canyon may have been named after Molly Brown (unsinkable) who lived in Leadville however I do not know this to be a fact.

    The only other similar ranges of size would be the “San Juans” , primarily in western Colorado,

    So Wolf just think about it, it would only make sense that these early searchers who went past the other 7 clues were probably guessing northern NM or Southern Colorado. Guessing not solving..

    My thinking is a little outside the box but I will assure you that www halt is in my humble opinion either a memorial or a mountain, either NM or perhaps Colorado. Warm Waters could simply be tears or Cold waters.

    Would anyone like to comment on why this is not a basic tenet of the solve?

  6. It is hard to resist Colorado. There are so many place names that fit the poem, clues, and whatever rationalizations I can dream up. I noticed that there is a Browns cow camp west of Redstone. Marble is just to the south. This page of the atlas is very interesting.

  7. PS The Unsinkable Molly Brown of Leadville Colorado fame (survived the Titanic) was born in Hannibal Missouri, also home to Samuel Clements, Mark Twain, greatest of American writers, it is exactly 90 miles from Franklin, Missouri the original starting point for The Old Santa Fe Trail. Why is the 90 important to ff and the poem? Would your hazard a guess?

    • Thanks, Spallies! Did you know that it is exactly 90 miles to the Colorado Border from Santa Fe, NM it is also 90 miles to Chama, NM and 90 miles to Dawson, nm a Ghost Town?

  8. Wolf,
    enjoyed your story, your writing is top notch. In fact many of the commenters on this blog appear to be professional writer’s, more so, than any other blog I have seen on the web. Also, with the most vivid imaginations when it comes to connecting the dots to find the treasure.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Top notch writers and imaginations here.
      Speaking of professional writers… It sure would be nice if Forrest would poke his head in here once in a while just to let us know how he’s doing… You-hoo… Forrest….

      • Hello, WiseOne. I noticed that Forrest answered another question over at Jenny’s…so he’s still responding to some people’s queries. I did find his answer very interesting …as usual.

        • Hi JC,
          Yes, I read that last night. I’m thrilled to see that he is still out there somewhere… 🙂
          I assume you are referring to the “did” word…? Again, Forrest loves to leave us pondering his true meanings. What do you think he is saying?,,, if you don’t mind my asking.

          • I’d like to also add that I really like Forrest’s answer. I see a few good hints in there, so I’m happy… That is if I’m right about my interpretation. I guess I will find out soon. 🙂

          • Hello, WiseOne. I guess I should sign up for email notifications for when someone replies to one of my comments. I’m just seeing this now. I’ve been working 6-day work weeks for a while now…not to mention the fact that my job is physically draining…so I haven’t been contributing like I did at times in the past.

            Yeah, Forrest’s use of the word “did” really threw me for a loop. He chooses his words very carefully…so you’d think there was a very good reason for it. I saw that he clarified later that the poem DID it’s job…which nobody can argue with…and that the poem is STILL DOING it’s job…which is still obvious since nobody has come forward claiming to have found a bronze chest. I guess…for the time being…that leaves us all with hope and optimism that there’s still a chance for one of us. I certainly include myself in that category. I’ll show everyone that the Treasure is in New Mexico.

  9. Wolf, great story. When can we expect the finish? Its a pleasure for me to see how your brain works. Hey, it was also great to finally put a face to the name!


    • Wolf, I too enjoyed your story. 🙂

      deb… You going on any searches this Spring or Summer… that is if you don’t mind my asking…
      I don’t know about you, but this warmer weather is making me want to pack my bags and head out soon, Very soon.

  10. Wooolf great mind you got.Now if you could focus on what is golden this chase is Over because your imagination is Blazing…

  11. Wolf –

    What a great photo of you and your son in front of that fasinating mural. I expect Forrest will do something like that in the grand finalle. Of course, it might be filled with all the colors of the rainbow too.

    Your stories are getting closer and closer to the spot. IMO
    At least you are in the right State now. lol

    It’s interesting that just this morning, I was again, reading up on rainbows. I have not done that in maybe three years now – and can’t believe how much I forgot. Do you know how many different types of rainbows there are?

    There are Moon bows, Rose Rainbows, twisty bows and so many more.

    And did you see the stamp on the benchmark map – it’s a rose – and I would very much like it to refer to Pasadena and the Rose Parade – lol but I think now, it’s about a rainbow.

    Maybe little Irish leprechauns are running around moving the treasure from its secret hidey spot – just to keep their pot of gold to themselves.

    And in Genesis 9, God used a rainbow as a sign, to never destroy all life on earth with a global flood again.

    There are Rainbow Flags – once used as a symbol of hope or social change and also sign of peace.

    So, Wolf you are on the right track now – and I really want to hear the end of your story. Thanks for all your work and letting us in on your adventure.

    • Thank you Inthechaseto!
      In this search, I used a key contained within the poem to find WWWH rather than guessing among the 1000s of possibilities. This removed my bias that it had to be in NM before. I think almost everyone starts with a bias as to what area to start with or what WWWH means, but in this case I let the poem direct me.

      This new key based approach told me where WWWH was and then it was a matter of following the clues. This is just a very straightforward approach other that the use of the key (I spice it up with a little history for interest sake) and a different perspective of “take it in the canyon down”, that I do not believe has been mentioned before.

      Of the remaining clues only one has been vaguely mentioned before but not necessarily proven and I utilized two or three other clue concepts that have not been used to date to solve the clues.
      The Wolf

  12. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful and kind comments. It certainly is nice to finally get some of this information out of my closet and into the open air! Now it will be a race between Dal and I as to who finishes first, remember he had a head start!

    • Wolf-
      I don’t race…
      I sneak…
      and I’m not convinced it will be either one of us…
      Certainly unlikely that it will be me who finds that chest…
      I’m just not bright enough..
      Plenty of folks here with great ideas and better skills than mine..

  13. Wolf,

    Excellent post, critical thinking, and potential solution!

    I’m still a strong believer in NM, but you make a great case for that area of Co. Thank you for sharing your insight. I, like many of us, realize just how many hours of research & thought go into a solution such as this, and deciding to share with the community I’m sure was a big decision. Again, thank you for doing so.

    I waffle on doing the same with my NM solution, but will remain silent as I still retain hope it is the correct path & I’m selfish. 🙂 Would you mind elaborating on how your sharing this solution has made you feel? Remorseful, worried, elated, weight lifted, ambivalent? Would it change if this solution turns out to be correct & some competition furthers it along and locates the chest before you? All of these things have crossed my mind when I contemplate a big share.


    • Thank you Clinger for the compliments and excellent questions. Your hesitation is similar to mine at the beginning but I was one of the very first who started sharing their experiences. Why did I do it?

      Well the simple reason is this is an experience and not many are able to adventure so I hope they can get something out of my experience. The second reason is that one has to get over the fear that we have some intellectual property that if provided will end our chances. As I said before I search no more than twice and then share so that others may use that information to advance their search. I also realize that one can not understand the faults in a solution until it is seen through another’s eye. This sharing experience has helped me move on to other concepts and keeps my mind open but more importantly helps me understand where I went wrong. This is a tough game and one must check their ego at the door if they have a hope in finding Fenn.

      If this solution turns out to be the correct solution, I would be very happy to have been able to solved it and that is a very gratifying experience and accomplishment that IMO is better than the monitory reward.
      I hope this helps.
      The Wolf

      • Thanks for the response. Your thoughts are very similar to mine (in solution sharing – not in treasure location…at least for now), and I have shared things that I have learned about other locations than my NM solution.

        Your post’s timing was coincidental to me as just last week I considered posting my primary solution, mostly as just an attempt to clear my head of the chase and take a hiatus for the summer. I’ve searched boots on the ground twice (each summer) & feel solid on the first 4 or 5 clues, but don’t have a back end solution. Both trips were more vacation like than active searching. I’m also a believer that you can solve it completely from home & walk right to it (or at least very close) so I don’t know if I’ll make another trip until I understand at least one more clue. I think i’m still a little too attached to share, but one day soon, perhaps.


  14. Wolf – where do you live? do you travel far to search? I have done almost all of my searches alone – the 3 searches with other people was so much more fun. I keep asking my husband if he will make another trip with me, but deep down he thinks this is all foolish. I love Colorado and even though I lived there for 18+ years there is a lot of ground I never discovered. I have not looked at any posts for a while. Enjoyed reading yours and assume the treasure is still secreted away.

  15. Continental Divide or Great Divide is where I believe WWWH, for the following reasons:
    1. The C.D. is the most prominent of the watersheds of the Americas that drain into the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. The Pacific ocean is considered to be warmer than the Atlantic ocean, this is where I believe the point where warm waters halt.
    However….Sweeping down from the North, along the Western Coast of America, is the very cold Humboldt current, making the Western Coast waters colder than the Atlantic coast. Make of this as you will.

    2. Some people still use the term that he or she “has gone over the divide”. FF hid the treasure at a time when he was gravely ill, and may have thought he too was about to go over the Great Divide, prompting him among other things, to hide the chest at, or very near the Great Divide.

    In my opinion, the chest is hidden within one mile of the Continental Divide.

    • You may be onto something, I know I have theories to support CD as well, but I thought this one had merit, I promise it gets better.

    • Sharpsburg, he didn’t hide it when he was gravely ill. Many have tried, including myself, to use the great divide as WWWH. The problem I found is the great divide covers all of the Rocky Mountains so doesn’t really narrow down the search area.

      The Great Divide makes a circle in Wyoming forming the Great Divide Basin which I really liked but couldn’t make the clues fit without twisting them into a pretzel.

  16. Sharp, IMO Fenn hid the treasure in 2009-2010, his cancer fight was in 1988 and on for a few years from what I have read. I think he was in good health but age is a factor when he hid it at 79-80 years of age. Indeed, he may have been thinking that he too was getting close to the Great Divide.

    • F could have driven to the area the day before his birthday, then actually hid it on his birthday, thus “79-80” would actually come into play!

  17. Since this is just one small part of my adventure, I left out a lot of the methodology that I used to solve the poem. I alluded to some of it in my previous two stories I published over at CC.

    Basically, I stopped looking for WWWH amongst the thousands of possibilities and stopped using the books as a guide because they can get one off track pretty easily. Why? Because we as searchers introduce our own personal biases as to what the clues mean. Thus I decided to hybrid two techniques (poem purist vs book first approach). Since all one needs is the poem, then the poem should support the solution on its own. However, FF insists we need to read the book and the poem, then re-read the poem many times and almost memorize it and then read the book slowly looking for things that can help with the clues.

    So I used my “poem before book” approach, in that the poem is the master and will drive the solution, but the book contains hints that must be able to support the solution because FF tells us they are there. Thus the book must be able to define and support the clues once the poem has been solved.

    I believe this technique, will limit (but not entirely eliminate) confirmation bias. It is almost impossible to remove it in its entirety, but it certainly is better than getting off track but randomly choosing the wrong hint, or worst selecting the correct hint but misinterpreting its meaning due to bias.

    So far only a couple lines of the poem have been used to solve the poem so far, when the story is done I use all but two lines of the poem to create the solution. Several words have multiple meanings and many words within each line support and define each of the nine clues.

    Finally, it is my strong belief the poem cannot be solved unless one understands the man who wrote it, thus the quest to find Fenn is of utmost importance and is why he said the person will have earned it, done the research, which I assume is the only way to gain the necessary confidence.

    • Wolf, great story, and I agree with you about understanding Forrest Fenn being key to locating the treasure. (or what can be understood with out personally knowing him.)

      So much to study along with reading his poem over and over to discover new layers. I’ve been stuck on tarry scant with marvel gaze all week. So many ways to interpret that line alone. I hope I’m ready to put tennis shoes on the ground when June arrives.

      • I recommend a good pair of hiking boots. I guess tennis shoes will work if that’s your racket (haha). You want at least 3-6 inches of ankle support so if you step in a hole you have added protection. Over that I wear snake protection that are 23 inch gators which slip over the corner of my heel with a four inch strap. You can wear the 36 inch kind but those are too long for me. At a minimum, make sure your calfs are covered. Snakes can strike a distance of 20% to 40% of their body length, some say less, but most say even a little more! My wife wears these when it’s steel cold outside

        Good luck and happy hunting.

      • Lia, I don’t think you should over think that line of the poem. I think It only apply,s once you have found the Blaze and look down from there.
        In my opinion ..I think that line is straight forward and there are no hidden meanings.

    • Top of the mornin to you 23Kachinas…
      and the luck of the Irish to match your spri emerald feathers! You have the best Avitars.

      Have you read Forrest’s interesting new post on Jenny Kyle’s MW site?

      • Lia – of course my emerald green spring feathers are here to cheer you up. I read the post on Jenny’s site and think the end is ever drawing nearer to spring which is a time of renewal and breaking forth, what do you think of Forrest’s latest post?

        • 23 I think F’s post is interesting. May be indicative of someone’s solution getting close, but no indication if they’ve been in close proximity on the ground.
          What’s your take?

          • Hey Lia! You’re back… 🙂
            Personally, I liked Forrest’s answer.
            It works for me! And I agree with your statement above. Someone must be getting close.

            Today my brain is on overload! TMI.
            It’s days like today, I can barely concentrate. All the comments about alpha/numeric, numbers, angles, degrees, etc…. hurts my head.
            I sure miss f’s picture clues/stories. Now that was fun!

          • Lol Wise One my head hurts too… 🙂 A nice fun picture puzzle would be my speed today a really easy one like they used to have on the beer caps… Was that Lucky beer or is my brain broken again!

          • Hi Lia, Your back! You were not gone long. I know the feeling. I say to myself. Step away from the book, Step away from the Poem and my old maps. But it does not last long….so….
            Welcome back.

        • Lou lee, kachinas, Spallies, WiseOne, happy weekend! Glad you are keeping the blog rolling with lively discussion. Now and then I check in, and like you wish Forrest would give us a scrap book with photos and a story!

          • Yes Lia, Happy weekend to you also! Lively discussion?…There certainly was some desperate begging going on here yesterday. And not a peep from Forrest. It feels as if he doesn’t like us anymore… Or maybe he’s wanting us out searching… What do you think?

        • WiseOne, I wouldnt even wager a guess as to Forrest’s apparent silence. Trying to match wits with him is a losing battle from my lowly vantage point.

          Writing a book is a task of large note and he’s already provided us what is needed to solve his poem. We are all anxiously waiting to search; I’ll wait til early June. There is a time for every thing.

          • I wish we know more about how his book was coming along… Anybody heard anything on it?
            Looks like a lot of searchers will be out around then. Early June seems a long way off to me. I’m ready now.

  18. @ spallies, … Which one was that? Lucky beer? Lucky Leprechaun beer?
    IDK, Maybe both of our brains are broken.
    I could use some luck though, but no beer…. My day trying to buy a new printer was a disaster. I couldn’t understand 90% of what the salesgirl said, and she had really bad breath… I had to get out of there/ no purchase made.
    Now have a headache.
    I need to go find my pillow for a couple hours, but I hate missing the posts. know what I mean?

  19. I want to make a correction and apology from my early statement that the treasure was within one mile from the Continental Divide. I should have said : Continental Divide Trail . This trail is used no doubt every year by a few people, and would give rise to FF statement that people have been within 500 ft. of the chest.
    There are, more important reasons that I say one mile from the CDT, however I still lack one most critical piece of the puzzle to make my solve. Once before I went looking for the chest and came back very disappointed. Now a word of advice for those of you who have “solved” the puzzle, and going out for the first time. Allow yourselves plenty of time to enjoy the sights and sounds around the area you are going to. In fact make that your primary objective and the treasure secondary. Good Hunting and have fun……….richard.

  20. Forrest said, “But where do warm waters halt? Only the Phantom knows”.

    There has been considerable speculation about who the phantom is? Who said the phantom is actually a person or entity, but maybe a hint?

    Phantoms are a type of quartz rock crystal. Mr. Fenn has quartz crystals in his chest (It contains thirty-nine animal fetishes carved from quartz crystal) and we know the contents or the treasure chest represent part of who Forrest Fenn is: “Part of me is in that chest and I am not taking about the autobiography, I am talking about part of my soul is in that chest, there are things in there that are very dear to me.”

    This is supported by the story Sunday Kind of Love where Forrest, as a boy, listened to Fran Warren on the crystal radio that Skippy built for him.

    • I’m new to this, where did Forrest say Only the phantom Knows. I missed that video or broadcast. Cut you hook a fellow hunter up with that link. I say thank you if you do Thank you JB

    • If you are not a deep thinker… Run now, and fast!! 😉

      Forrest said, “Where do warm waters halt? Only the Phantom knows.”

      Shadow psychology was suggested in the comments on the Raven poem scrap book.

      Maybe f was joking or maybe he was suggesting his alter ego knows.
      (Don’t we all have alter egos or shadow personalities?) I had to consult Carl Jung to gain even a vague understanding.

      I’m no psychologist but Forrest did design the jacket cover of TFTW around his SHADOW rather than his image. If this theory has any relevance, which is not likely, then my guess is that his shadow personality or phantom went with mom not dad. A place of peace, succor, contentment, and unconditional love which radiated from his mother but not his father. Wish I knew his mom’s favorite fishing hole.
      hard to tell from the fishing spread in TTOTC.

      • Anna, I really like your phantom personality hypothesis and I am also intrigued by your reference to the raven scrapbook post, of which I only briefly hinted at in my story. Obviously there is much more to the raven, but it served as an segue to my adventure, of which only you have picked up on to date.

        • Well I’m howling now!! It’s not often I’m right or can make another smile. I enjoyed your adventure and your solutions Wolf. In my opinion you have to gain understanding of who Forrest is to land at the right spot.
          I’m trying to do that, but it’s obviously difficult to understand another human being, and complex one at that without being a true friend and spending time together.

          We searchers are at the mercy of research, blogs, interviews, his choice of lit, and any intuition we harbor. There’s more I believe I know but would not be anything I’m comfortable saying. I think I’m on the right track but it’s a fine line before I feel pushed off a tight rope. I miss some of the old timers who were deep thinkers and helped me reason out portions of the poem.

          • Anna, you, I and a few others do feel it is necessary to find Fenn before we can find the trove. If most are like me, there will be a constant and persistent subconscious attempt to inject our own personal views into the solution. The one what will ultimately prevail will either be a Fenn clone or one who can program their inner psyche to ignore their personal subconscious assaults on their quest to understand the man who envisioned this puzzle.

            I believe he does provide enough information to understand him but most ignore it. The trick is to find the pattern of behaviour that defines him and follow it.

          • @wolf
            Either that or just solve the poem! Hopefully someone wise accomplishes both. Lol

          • That does explain her sudden loss of grammar and spelling skills after that first post.

          • Wolf you misunderstand me, the first post was eloquent and well structured, with vast vocabulary. If that was E, then that is fitting. I’m saying every other thing DG has said since that shadow challenge… is different.

          • DP,
            I think you mis understand what I or rather she is saying. There are two different Diggin Gypsies, E is the first based on that shadow. The other is from Georgia.

          • Well that wasn’t very nice, there are some brilliant people living in Georgia. 😉

          • I have so much information on this whole thing….There is so much more to all of it.
            I could say some things about this perception. Things are not always as they seem. I think I will keep quiet about it. Its Crazy….

    • If the phantom isn’t right then you can not see within. I know because that is what I do for a living. Being a radar mechanic has got me to where I am now. Just saying.

  21. Many feel that only a few have managed to get the first two clues correct and that is the same number as those who got the first clue correct. Forrest finally revealed what I have speculated for many months that the number who have gotten the first clue correct is significantly higher than those who have the first two clues, indicating there is a trick to second clue. Of course I expect denial of this fact, since it will threaten many solutions.

    My solution above illustrates an example of how that can occur. I am not saying this is the only reason for I can think of a few others. Fenn’s latest post at Mysterious Writings does support the fact that the first clue is straight forward but still remains tricky after that, yup not a cake walk after finding wwwh. Yes I am one who feels wwwh is clue one.
    Forrest, you have stated that several searchers correctly identified the first two clues in your poem. Could you tell us how many searchers to your knowledge have correctly identified the first clue correctly? Thanks. ~49 Dollars

    No 49, I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues. To me that’s just expensive folly. f

    • end is probly straightforawd to you wolfie are one of the smarties here. i must say your solve is good you should just get it for all of us stop the torture .. we as a whole group need u back as nun uf us have complete solves

      • Ha hen! Only if I could come out of retirement … ah to dream. The Thrill of the Chase was a lot of fun and I certainly will miss it. I am hanging up the wings and heading back to school next fall, so I definitely will not have time to spend on this anymore. I will continue to enjoy it while I can…

    • Yes Wolf i asked that question just for you. haha no i got my question answered i was curious if the first two clues were solved as one and if wwwh was solved more frequently than the second clue. the only problem i see with wwh being the first clue is the fact that Forrest stated that searchers correctly solved the first two clues and went right by the other seven, so how can you begin at wwh and take it in the canyon down( if thats the second clue) and fit seven clues in between, i follow your line of thinking quite close as i have explored the same avenues and have reached the same conclusions exept for one aspect that you gave up on, if your curious what that is please give me your e-mail and i will share privately. or email me at

      • Hi 49,
        You are a clever question poser? Your question: “Forrest stated that searchers correctly solved the first two clues and went right by the other seven, so how can you begin at wwh and take it in the canyon down( if thats the second clue) and fit seven clues in between?”

        I guess is comes down to how one interprets “take it in the canyon down.” I am one who believes the straight forward interpretation of “take it in the canyon down” is what trips people up and thus the difference in the number of searchers who get clue 1 correct and those who get both clue 1 and 2 correct.

        One very simple explanation is that searchers missed the hoB “turn off” and thus went by the other 7. One has to ask why that is? I have some ideas but it is worth thinking about.

        The same rationale holds if HoB is the second clue (I don’t think it is) the only difference is the have identified the first turn off and went by the second.

        I think the important point is: if many, many get the first clue correct (wwwh) and go the wrong direction they are in the much bigger camp of “got the first clue correct” but if one goes the correct direction (upstream in my example) they now enter the rare group of getting the forest two clues correct. The only problem is this very small group (of first clue solvers) went too far and passed by the hoB, thus “went by the other 7”
        The Wolf

        • That’s an Interesting thought Wolf. There may be a “Y” or a “fork” in the search and we have to take the correct path or we will go past the next 7 clues.

          • Yes and/or one fact may be a lot more attractive that the other. Why does that remind me of Pickles?

  22. Crystals and Buffalos and flashlights
    The Uncompahgre Ute Indians from Central Colorado are one of the first documented groups of people in the world credited with the application of mechanoluminescence involving the use of quartz crystals to generate light. The Ute constructed special ceremonial rattles made from buffalo rawhide which they filled with clear quartz crystals collected from the mountains of Colorado and Utah. When the rattles were shaken at night during ceremonies, the friction and mechanical stress of the quartz crystals impacting together produced flashes of light visible through the translucent buffalo hide. [wiki]

  23. The significance of Bubble gum?
    “Over the weeks and months my little gifts of flowers and bubble gum brought temporary relief but did little to belay the relentless feeling of sadness that permeated our visits. The tea drinking rituals we always enjoyed had somehow become necessities. “f – TTOTC

  24. Lou Lee – “I have so much information on this whole thing….There is so much more to all of it.
    I could say some things about this perception. Things are not always as they seem. I think I will keep quiet about it. Its Crazy….”

    If you have so much to say but can’t say it, then keep it to yourself from the get go.. or spill it.. whatever… no need to state out loud how much you shouldnt be speaking out loud about something. For chrissakes.

  25. I’m not the one spilling the Beans…so to say. I am a little confused about who, DP is in all of this? I have not seen this person before.

  26. If a number of people have gotten the first clue correct, and mentioned as such by Forrest, does that imply that the state and general area has been “determined” and conceded by Forest?
    The level of sleuthing that has been invested in the Poem is interesting. The number of different and corresponding angles, leads, and locations, is rather quirky. I really wonder if this was truly Forrest’s intention or he is having a good chuckle with the way it is playing out. The Poem for sure is thought out, but does it really have to be complex? I for one don’t think so, and have been looking at the common sense and practical side of Forrest, to go about the Poem and the TofTC. It could be just plain simple and logical, and close enough to reach out and touch you. But, that is the fun of it all! 🙂

    • Secrent,
      I wonder if the few who have the first two right, Do not have enough “Imagination” to go on to the next. Are we lacking on imagination?
      I was just looking at page 98 in the Thrill. I think this is a important page. He talks about Knowing something is there, but we cannot see it.
      This page is so interesting….

      Lou Lee, Chased by Bears in Jellystone park and lived to tell, feeling blessed!

        • The first clue is very important you need that before you start your journey. Once you have that clue then you start at where warm waters halt.

          • Michael,
            you asked… What kind of place can you go alone into?

            In TTOTC on page 125 first paragraph Mr f says…I always thought that space was mine alone, and many of the memories there bred are even now still so personal that they exclude the intrusion of strangers. How dare they go there?

          • Ed there is overwhelming evidence that the first clue is “begin it where warm waters halt” so much so I don’t feel I have to preclude it with IMO.

            Mr. Fenn has repeatedly stated to the point of Ad nauseam with many, many statements just like this:

            “You need to start at the beginning. You need to figure out where warm waters halt.”

            “The most common mistake that I see searchers make is that they underestimate the importance of the first clue.”
            (If I actually mentioned them all and posted them, Dal would have to get another server)

            He is saying to begin at the first clue. There are nine clues and 24 lines so the rest of those lines contain information required to help you prove the clues.

            Why start with “as I have gone alone in there”, why did I start my Finding Fenn story with an opening paragraph from the middle of my adventure? The answer is the same reason FF liked about J. D. Salinger, “I thought what a great way to start a book – just get right down into the fling of it.” f

            The Wolf

          • I just want it clear that those ideas are your opinion and not fact. Some people believe there are other clues in the poem before WWWH. Others believe WWWH is the first clue. Still others believe that the place to begin is mentioned somewhere else in the poem. Heck..many feel the nine clues are only referenced in the poem and are not even mentioned in it. So..for the sake of new folks coming on here and looking for ideas I would prefer if we made a clear differentiation between what we believe to be fact and what is opinion.

            We have very few ideas that we believe to be fact…that we don’t have to argue about…Most of those are stated in Goof’y’s Cheat Sheet. We believe those to be above conjecture simply because these are things that Forrest has bluntly told us…

            Even so, some believe the meanings of those statements are hidden behind interpretation.

            So..what I am getting at is that unless Forrest says it…it’s opinion..maybe good opinion…maybe likely opinion…but still opinion and I don’t want us giving the impression that what any one of us believes is fact..

            As has been mentioned many one will know exactly what the nine clues are or how to interpret the poem until the chest is found..and maybe not then either.

            Let people make up their own minds…follow their own instincts…and in order to do that they must be reminded that what we say here is opinion, idea, conjecture and is different from what Forrest tells us about the chest.

          • Thanks Dal, Ed and others here. I have heard too here and there, that forrest has indeed, said to Begin, WWWH! Seems rather tricky. We must need a lot of Imagination. Yet Dal and other seem to believe it is Hot or Warm springs related. Some here believe it has another
            Meaning. Like were cold waters end….Reverse..? Maybe.

            Lou Lee, Chased by Bears in Jellystone Park and Feeling Blessed.

        • Kind of like a kid in his treehouse fort, you must be part of the club, know the secret knock, or access is denied to all so one can keep their treasures/ special place secure.


          • I remember meeting Forrest I showed him my thoughts in a scrapbook I had put together. As we were leaving he said Twice to me Begin it were warm waters halt.
            I was thinking silently in my head I already did. But what I thought warm waters was about was not correct. It has a meaning , I believe I know what he means by that now I just had to think 🙂

          • Knock three time on the ceiling if you want me . Twice on the pipe if the answer is no. Membership approved. You have to climb the rope to enter the tree house??

          • Woody, lol, was commenting in jest, but the idea of going alone in there and with my treasures sparked the inner child thought of days past sneaking to a childhood hideout and stashing random treasures with friends included or not. Now, I guess the membership to the club could be limited to only two with a blood bond, Skippy and ff possibly, for example? One can still keep the secret or maybe it was only a one person club to begin with, OR maybe imaginary or spiritual friends were in the group, hmmm.

            This is what happens in my research, find slight aha moment then i challenge the idea of connection. It gets deep and goes tangential, but sometimes helps in painting a clearer picture of possibilities. Why limit yourself in thought process I ask myself. Balance between the reality potential versus the imaginary depths when pondering, such a wrestling match at times.


          • Steve… That was a great great answer back . I like the way you think. I think I might of been a member of the treehouse club. I remember doing exactly that . We as in my brother and I always had our secret place and still to this day I don’t think anyone knows where they were except maybe another generation of kids or an explorer or two( Maybe)

        • There is no magic or illusions Just a generous man that wanted everyone to go find there special spot. and to get off the couch and go for an Adventure. You can only find your special Spot by being in the woods if you Enjoy that kind of envirement.

          • We all need to take care of the places we love that are in the wood by having a code of ethics . Leave no trace or as little as possible. Shut all gates , pick up your wrappers and cans and don’t leave your cigarette ends laying around . Everyone . Have a nice spring and summer and Enjoy the Wood.

          • Good thoughts Woody Bogg…
            When you metal detect, do you carry out the trash you unearth? Some sites are just loaded and it’s hard to just move on because there isn’t a dump truck to load up ! Tick’s me off…

          • Especially when you metal detect !! Only bound to reason that after a while all the garbage has been taken out. Also learn how to cut a plug and plug the hole or fill it . The only way we can protect areas to metal detect is if we take care of them. I have argued the fact to a park or recreation that it helps remove trash also if there is no signal from your detector no hole. A one time thing..

      • Lou Lee, about imagination, and lack of it… I think in my case, having TOO MUCH imagination can get one into trouble. Even though f says “imagination is better than knowledge” (slash / the D), it’s difficult to determine how far to walk on that tightrope of imagination and not fall off and get hurt. Every time I climb the ladder up to the rope, it gets higher and higher. So for me, maybe I’m at a standstill in the middle of the rope just trying to keep my balance… I’ve previously fallen (no net below)… that hurt! But am I a fast enough learner to know it’s not fun falling if there’s no net below to catch me. Am I brave enough to keep trying? Is the net actually there and I just can’t see it? Will I make it to the next step? IDK.

      • There was the Door to which I found no Key;
        There was the Veil through which I may not see:
        Some little talk a while of Me and Thee
        There was – and then no more of Thee and Me.

    • Hi Secrent, You must be new here on Dal’s blog… Welcome.
      I’ve been re-reading through some posts and thought I’d comment on yours. I too believe the solve may be just plain, simple, logical, and not too complex, but why then can’t anyone complete the solve?
      I’m sure f is chuckling at some searcher’s line of logic. And how do we know what f’s common sense side is? He remains a mystery. What have you learned about f’s practical side?
      Oh, and I also can relate to your statement that it could be close enough to reach out and touch you… 🙂 It can feel that way at times, but for the ones that have been out searching, it certainly hasn’t yet…

  27. Does Fenn have to say it to constitute proof?
    Much discussion over the many years suggesting that if Fenn doesn’t say it, then a fact doesn’t exist. Sure having him come out and absolutely say it, is the ultimate proof but it also spoils the fun and the thrill of solving the poem thus I feel that is why he answers questions the way he does.

    Mr. Fenn said we need a logical mind to solve his poem. Why? Perhaps because we need to draw logical conclusions to give us the confidence to know we have solved the poem.

    Modus tollens is form of logical proof. For example if Mr. Fenn is known to bake pineapple pies as a kid in Yellow Stone and if he said “I always place and leave them on the sill when complete.” Thus if there are no pineapple pies on the sill we can logically deduce there are no complete pineapple pies, even though he has not said so.

    Of course there will always be the ones that will rationalize that the finished pies were stolen or moved by someone, but I guess that is how we begin to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Food for thought 😉

    • Wolf-
      No…when you find the chest you too will be able to speak with authority of where it was and perhaps what the lines in the poem mean. 🙂

    • Wolf you asked; “Does Fenn have to say it to constitute proof?”

      Short answer is yes. And as Dal said; Even so, some believe the meanings of those statements are hidden behind interpretation.

      To quote Fenn quoting another famous treasure hunter:
      Archaeology is the search for fact. Not truth. If it’s truth you’re interested in, Doctor Tyree’s Philosophy class is right down the hall.

      Dal just wanted the new people to know what you are saying is a logical truth to you, not a fact. Truth is a perspective not fact, therefore your opinion. There are some logical truths most of us agree upon……..but then we haven’t found the chest.

      I don’t recall an example of modus tollens being used in a factual context unless it is followed by “under normal circumstances” or other qualifying statement. If you would like to present a modus tollens truth table using the statements of Fenn, the books, or poem that is absolute fact not conjecture I will stand corrected.

      • Goofy,

        What did you study in college? Or were you self taught?

        you seem well versed in many different things…

        • Philly, I hold a bachelor’s in physics and a master’s in computer science. The Marxist indoctrination didn’t take with me……But I don’t get too heady about the paper work, they are just tickets to get in the door. Some of the dumbest people I’ve ever met that ain’t got the good sense God gave a rock have a Ph.D following their name.

          • Haha..
            Well you could be the smartest person in the world but if you do not how to use it, it will get you no where…

            I am actually planning on going back to school to study physics myself..just bought the Fenyman lectures and trying to learn on my own right now…start classes again in June…

            Do you have any interests in theoretical, experimental or engineering aspects of physics?

            I want to study physics for my undergraduate, trying to get my masters in mechanical engineering and try to build a Warp Drive….

            Its frustrating knowing that theres billions or more galaxies with billions of planets to explore out there but we do not have the technology to travel to lame mars..

          • CluesfromPhilly, Space is actually going to be my specialty when I go back to school this fall (I have worked in the field on and off for eight years, I just finally figured I should get a formal education in it).

            BTW – I finally figured out why Goofy and I can never agree. My undergrads are in Computer Science and Economics with both minors in Math and my Masters will be in Physics (reverse of Goofy), which explains how he managed to skip all those logic classes – haha (just joking there Goofy all in good fun) 😉

          • Very cool Wolf!! have fun and good luck!

            are you getting into theoretical, experimental or a focus in Astronomy?

          • I read marxist as matrix…yeah you should have heard some of the professors I have had spewing anti American, extreme left politics when I went to school…It made my blood boil..They all seemed to be in the english and arts departments so I am sticking with math,physics and engineering when I go back…

            I first went to school in 08 and they were basically teaching for 5 minutes then cheer leading/campaigning for Obama….what a waste of higher education

            and how come marxist is underlined like it should be capitalized? The dude never had a job and was a slob…disgrace..

          • “are you getting into theoretical, experimental or a focus in Astronomy?”-cluesfromPhilly

            Hi Philly, since I will be a teacher and national space expert my area will be broad based varying from astronomy, to space weather, communications, satellite design and my favourite – remote sensing. I might even find a practical application for the latter!
            The Wolf

          • Very cool, Wolf…

            There is some excitement with space telescopes as the James Webb telescope is coming out in a couple of years…it might be able to find human friendly planets….

            Do you have any ideas of what darn energy/matter could be??

            And where are you searching this year? Any spots where you can see the milky way? always wanted to see that…

        • 42, that’s one of those what color is the dress questions. Color is perception of light waves therefore opinion looked at it in that context. On the other hand if I programmed a web page with the color code 04D253 (a shade of green) that is fact. So the programming is fact, the perception is opinion.

          Wait! What did I just say….I’m starting to talk like Fenn.

          • Good one Goof!

            Since we are discussing philosophical questions, are you of the opinion there is or is not any absolute truth?

            I’ll check back after Mexican food.

          • HA! 42, you’re going to eat Mexican food while trying to give me heartburn. 🙂 It’s all my little brain can do to understand computers, much less philosophy or women.

            However, I was able to drive a few philosophy professors insane. A “fact” I’m proud of. 😆

          • “Color is perception of light waves therefore opinion looked at it in that context. On the other hand if I programmed a web page with the color code 04D253 (a shade of green) that is fact. So the programming is fact, the perception is opinion.” – Goofy

            So when you state “For you to present your interpretation as fact is simply wrong without having the chest.” but based on your first statement if one were to show you the chest it will still only be opinion because seeing is only perception?

            Thus you are correct, “What is logical for some is illogical to others.”

            So will you still be looking for the chest after it is been found (since it is only perception and thus opinion)?

            By the way you do realize statements like, “statements of fact without the chest” is a fallacious argument? Because you can’t prove the maker of the statement doesn’t have the chest unless you have the chest yourself.

            All in fun, I can play your game too! 🙂

        • The fact that your color blind does not determine the color of the grass .The truth is at some point you know that it was green in order to grow but the fact is you are color blind so at this time it may be brown. The truth is you know that it is grass.

        • I would have to say that it depends.

          Currently, my grass is brown, it has been brown for several months now. I hope it will turn green, but that is not known yet.

      • “I don’t recall an example of modus tollens being used in a factual context unless it is followed by “under normal circumstances” or other qualifying statement. If you would like to present a modus tollens truth table using the statements of Fenn, the books, or poem that is absolute fact not conjecture I will stand corrected.” – Goofy

        Example of logic in action:

        Fenn says there are four states that could contain the treasure (fact via the map). He then said if he was standing where the treasure lies he would smell pinion nuts. Through modus tollens, that means the treasure has to be in NM because only pinion nuts exist there. Now since that example was too strong, it had to be clarified and thus he recanted the statement. had he not no one cold logically search anywhere else. This is backed by the Fenn’s statement that he doesn’t purposely mislead.

        So if today, everyone concluded the WWWH as first clue due to logical deduction and declared that as fact. If we were all wrong due to our sound logic, Mr. Fenn would make a public announcement correcting his statement that allowed us to deduce such a fact.

        The Wolf

      • Goofy,
        Based on your statements I get the feeling you have not searched. I mean how could you if Mr. Fenn didn’t tell you exactly where it is? How could you come up with a solution without the facts defined by his exact words?

        I predict at some point the logical thinkers (logical mind is a fact stated by Mr. Fenn) will connect the dots and discover the truth and beat those who choose to wait for him to provide only facts by your strict definition.
        The Wolf

        • Wolf, it appears that part of the problem stems from your usage of the word “proof” in a way that that appears to have the same meaning as “evidence”. I would submit that they aren’t generally understood as being the same thing to many people including myself. You may have evidence to support your conclusions as to the location of the chest or the meaning of the clues but evidence alone does not irrefutably “prove” where the chest is actually located. It is only evidence that may or may not support your conclusions as to where you think it is. Once the chest is found or Forrest definitely defines his clues you will be irrefutably be proven correct or proven to be wrong. Until then, its an opinion only, that is supported by logic or other evidence or not.

        • Wolf, I’ve probably searched a couple hundred spots. But I work in the Rockies so I have the benefit of being able to do that. Like everyone else I come up with solutions based on an interpretation of the poem and what he has said.

          You are proving my point. We can’t come up with solutions based on “facts” because the poem is ambiguous and we have very few facts to go on. Most everything about the chase is a subjective interpretation of what he has said or written; therefore an opinion. What is logical for some is illogical to others.

          For you to present your interpretation as fact is simply wrong without having the chest. It is just your opinion. Why do some have such a difficult time saying it’s there opinion?

          • Actually Goofy by you searching with out proof proves my point. BTW what did I say (provide exact words) that stated anything is fact? Then we can debate.

          • Wolf you’re going in circles buddy. You stated; “Ed there is overwhelming evidence that the first clue is “begin it where warm waters halt” so much so I don’t feel I have to preclude it with IMO.”

            In my opinion you presented that as a fact. Which is what started this whole discussion.

          • Joke is on you Goofy, I used the words ” I don’t feel…” Feel is an opinion.

          • Wolf, this discussion about opinion, fact, proof, evidence is a carryover in part from Nine clues part 39 in late feb. where you made many comments about the “proof” you had. For example you said:

            I hate to pee on your parade since you are so confident and all, but I can prove that it isn’t in Wyoming.”

            I think that comment along with some others made around the same time set the stage for challenging some of your pronouncements no matter what you call them. All any of us have are opinions any way you slice them unless and until that lovely chest is in our hands.

          • Goofy,
            lol “listen good” – fascinating how people interpret other’s words. I guess that is what makes this puzzle so interesting.

          • Hilarious stuff here ! Opinions about opinions…definitely healthy to explore the possibilities for sure. At the end of the day, without the Chest, all of this is just an exercise in HUMILITY, or lack of it. Good luck to all and be safe out there !

  28. A couple of ideas I found when reading Eric Sloane’s “Seasons of America Past” and “Once Upon A Time”

    HOB: A century ago (when Forrest wishes he lived) every farmer “manured” his fields in April to cultivate the soil and produce great riches of our earthly sustenance. The earth is brown, but a farmer’s field is truly a home of brown every spring. Perhaps you start your journey to the treasure below (south, downstream, etc) from a farm field.

    Possible Blaze or WWWH: Water lore… “A tree struck by lightening is supposed to mark a vein of water; this has been found to have scientific support, as lightening experts now agree.” pg 78 Seasons of America Past

  29. @Woody Bogg “Knock three time on the ceiling” In 1970 when I was 9 yrs old I road in the back of a pick up (with topper) from Seattle to San Diego winding down highway 1 at my parent’s liesure. Kids in the back with an 8 track tape player playing Tony Orlando and monopoly. 45 yrs later I can still hear every note of the song, and could wallup anyone with the monopoly board. When we were bored, we used the board to beat up on each other. Parents could have cared less, just kept driving unless they saw blood.

  30. I had been looking for a subjective clue about what made a spot special to FF. In TTOTC, page 125, I found an answer:

    “How special those hours were, spent watching the waters deepen into cobalt as the flow slowly bent around the bank, or the ripples swirl as a brookie took an unsuspecting mayfly.
    “Many others who have loved those waters before and after me understand that catching fish is not what it is about. It’s the being there, in the tranquility and silence of oneself, or within the gentle call of a friend when he hooks a nice one, or tells you of the moose and calf that just came out of the pines to feed on the water grasses downstream.” FF

    Now I understand what to the special place is and why.

    • Michael – When I replied to you from my other computer,…the post ended up down below,…and out of context (I think it is because the connection was slow). So here is my reply again:

      You wrote:

      “Many others who have loved those waters before and after me understand that catching fish is not what it is about….” FF

      Note that he wrote “waters” as in “where warm waters halt”. So that may be where the cold waters optimal for fly fishing begin. IMO,…it is all about the fly fishing. 🙂

  31. Goofy – Did you hear? The Wolf is going back to school to get his Masters in Physics this fall. From now on,…I am going to ask you two this:

    What would Einstein post???

    It’s good to be back here. Thank you. 🙂

    • Remember that bizzare scrapbook post about the spices and in particular the rank about cloves?

      “Why does my wife need three bottles of cloves?”
      “I wonder if she bought another jar of cloves?”
      “Cloves Smells bizarre and strong. The taste has a bite that comes with a lasting sting. It took three seconds to feel the full impact of the flavor on my tongue. It was terrible. I felt jaundiced and had to suck on an ice cube.” [ice cube? Greek word for ice = crystal]

      That post always reminded me of the Fenn Cache and crystal clovis points.

          • The Wolf – I meant, ‘Atlantis sinks,…comes to a “halt”,…in The Bermuda Triangle’…(not the Bahamas,…that is another Atlantis theory).

            (See: The Sunrise Mine/Chapter 8)

            After flying past the western wall of Devil’s Tower, Fenn asked, “Well, Jack, did you get a good look at the tower?”

            Holland was speechless.

            “We were so close, I could see the feldspar crystals in the rock, ” Haynes commented.

            “Crystals!” I excitedly replied. “I could see ants on the crystals.”

            -Where have talked about ants before?

          • Sunrise mine:
            “So I applied some mountain man wisdom [wise] so the situation. The sun comes up [rises?] in the east …” -TTOTC

  32. Goofy – Even though I select the reply button directly underneath the post I want to respond to,…my reply post goes all the way to the bottom of the thread,…and then the context is lost. Can you help?

    Thank you,

    E 🙂

  33. DP – You wrote:

    “Wolf you misunderstand me, the first post was eloquent and well structured, with vast vocabulary. If that was E, then that is fitting. I’m saying every other thing DG has said since that shadow challenge… is different.”

    Forrest wrote the copy beneath my “Diggin Gypsy” shadow photo that he posted. I still have a version of it in a reply he sent to me,…on my cel phone,…when I said “No” to him posting it. 😉

  34. 42 – I would like to attach one of those crystal points to my Spear of Destiny,…that I will need to fight the Grizz,…when I go out to my spot,…well,….someday. 🙂

  35. Goofy, I forgot to tell you… Heartburn is the new blaze.
    Spallies – if you’re ever in Texas, join us for mexican food. I’ll treat and throw in Zantac for the after blaze.

  36. Michael – Note that he wrote “waters” as in “where warm waters halt”. So that may be where the cold waters optimal for fly fishing begins. IMO,…it is all about the fly fishing. 🙂

  37. Agree with you E, it’s about fishing, but also about his fond memories, camp fires, & being a kid again. What I’ve discovered is that F’s solution to the poem is elegant in its simplicity and imaginatively fun to solve. I’ve one last piece of the puzzle to solve – the hardest one. I’m 10 yrs old and my dad said I have to find the last piece or he won’t drive me that far!! LOL

  38. 42 – You and lia,…only ONE solve for The Poem,…I have more than several,…but they all apply to two areas that are very close to each other (I call them forrest’s Plan A & Plan B). After reading an Umberto Eco book recently,…I am now working on my Knights Templar solve,…and WWWH is Golgotha in Jerusalem (See: the Spear of Destiny). I’m going to go post my Valley of the Kings solve for Lia over on Mike’s blog,…since she mentioned Egypt,…and Sphinx Mountain.

    And Lou Lee is right,…I am crazy,…like a Fox, (just like Forrest)…or like Einstein,…who thought imagination is more important than knowldge. 😉

    • Einstein, I never said you were crazy…I was talking about us who have been here for a couple of years. When we feel like this is making us feel Crazy.
      Please don’t put words in my mouth….

      Lou Lee, a treasure hunter.

    • E, I’m looking forward to your Knights Templar solve using Golgotha as WWWH. Your link to the Spear of Destiny was interesting relic history.

      EASTER week is the most holy week for Christians. While I won’t speculate about Forrest’s spirituality, one can metaphorically solve his poem with a simple message of the gospel.

      1. As I have gone alone in there = We go alone on our journey of faith, and in to eternity after life on earth.

      2. Begin it WWWH = begin your journey at the cross which is wear Christ was crucified, wept, and his side pierced – warm waters ran and halted. It is also a place of tears for believers.

      3. Take it in the Canyon Down = a great cavern or pit seperates man from friendship with God. Imperfect man is seperated from perfect & loving God.

      4. Not far but too far to walk = God is near us in all creation and wants our friendship. But we cannot walk across the deep cavern to God. It’s a journey of Faith in our spiritual being. We are more than flesh and bones.

      5. Put in Below the Home of Brown = (In our death we are placed beneath the earth). Begin your journey at the foot of the Cross of Christ (brown/wood) asking God’s forgiveness and seeking His friendship.

      6. From there it’s no place for the Meek = Christ took our place on the cross enduring torture and death so that we don’t have to. Following Him is not always an easy path.

      7. The end is ever drawing nigh = the day of our physical death is always getting closer. “Draw wing” near = our spiritual flight on angel’s wings to heaven also draws closer each day.

      8. There’ll be no paddle = The good news or gospel is that Christ made the great trade – His life for ours. We can look forward to peace & love in eternity, not punishment when you place faith in Jesus Christ. He took your tears and heavy loads upon himself

      9. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, Look quickly down your quest to cease = If you have been spiritually wise and found the cross of Christ, look quickly to your heart, you have found the pearl of great price – peace and everlasting life are beyond any earthly treasure.

      Contentment is “at-one-ment” with the Creator.

  39. I had put sme posts up a few years ago, but have just been following lately. Had planned to go searching last year but ended up having cervical and lumbar surgery, which was rather brutal. But hoping to get out and do a search late spring, even if it is with a dowsing rod. haha

  40. The Wolf – On your story title “Finding Fenn”,…I couldn’t agree more! Trying to put ourselves in Forrest’s shoes (or mocassins, as it were),…is the key to solving The Poem,…IMO. I am doing everything in my power to BE the Fox,…as when I shape shifted for this photo,…taken next to Forrest’s pond:

    Note: that photo was taken with a motion sensitive camera. Yes, he knows how to use those. So do the USFS folks who are watching the Grizzly bear activity on the trail to my spot.

    • Thank you very much E! I like how you said that place ourselves in his shoes… much speculation about the number of times he mentioned shoes, he could be hinting that we need to place our selves in his shoes and more particularly at the time he came up with this concept. Important to be the fox, so are you going to dress as a hound?

    • “Being Forrest Fenn is getting harder all the time, but it will continue to be fun as long as I have a tree to hide behind, maybe a tree with an f carved in its trunk. ff”

      When I read this and seen one of my pics from along time ago. It was crazy to think I was in there. Perhaps I will carry it to my grave and just leave my bones. Knock Knock… Who is it?


  41. The Wol – I am the Cougar,…trying to become the Fox. But I really think Forrest is a Coyote:

    Fox’s Wisdom Includes:



    Observational skills




    Feminine courage


    Ability to observe unseen




  42. The Wolf – But your point is well taken. Great detectives,…like Sherlock Holmes,…try to become their quarry,…to solve the crime. Your hound analogy made me think of that.

  43. “The agony of defeat became excruciatingly painful.”

    Fenn is a tall wall to climb. I imagine throwing in the towel was difficult but probably best for the fam. Good luck in life’s endeavors!

  44. The fifth element:
    “Forrest talked about the four elements at mysterious writings:
    Mr Fenn, in relation to the final resting place of the chest, which of the 4 natural elements (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire) would mostly compromise it resting? ~ James
    I know what the question is. I don’t think earth can hurt it, under the right conditions wind might affect it, it’s probably already wet, and look at what fire did to the twin towers. Nature makes her own rules, James, so I try to not be absolute when talking about her”.f

    From a logical stand point, just as the penny is the missing coin in My Spanish Ty Factory, perhaps there is meaning to the missing element?

    The number 5 (nickels, etc) have been mentioned by Mr. Fenn for quite some time. Many are unaware there is a 5th element which is better know as aether (ether) or quintessence:

    Aristotle also noted that crystalline spheres (CRYSTAL) made of aether held the celestial bodies. The idea of crystalline spheres and natural circular motion of aether led to Aristotle’s explanation of the observed orbits of stars and planets in perfectly circular motion in crystalline aether.

    Aether is intransitive “to burn, to shine”; which doesn’t take a leap of logic to link to “the blaze”

  45. Wolf

    Yes it may have moisture I don’t believe it’s in a river or creek but i will think on the word Wet for a moment 🙂

    • Wolf,

      there is another waterfall in the same area that is called Dunanda…and this means “straight down” ( quickly down ) in Shoshone language.

  46. Outside the box…
    Barnum Brown famous American paleontologist raised in Carbondale, Kansas
    whose father hauled freight from Sante Fe, CO, etc.
    How does paleontology relate to Fenn’s life’s work?
    Colorado Yule Marble Company blocks of marble heavy load?
    I believe the area below Carbondale, CO – Penny Hot Springs, Avalanche Creek, Elephant Mountain might be interesting – Wolf’s been there with a different line of reasoning – hit the topo maps
    or another place to start with the clues – where else did B. Brown spend time/dig in the Rockies?

  47. Barnum Brown – commonly referred to as Mr. Bones; didn’t Mr Fenn say the poem once read?:
    “take my treasure and leave my BONES”

    • If he initially wrote the poem to include bones, then perhaps included initially was the word stones. He did mention The Rosetta Stone in his recent interview.

      • Not sure of your source Dal but from Moby Dickens – “Take the treasure chest but leave my bones and go in peace… or something like that”

        • Wolf-
          Forrest was my source. I was present when he told two different reporters, on two different occasions, exactly what I put in quotes above.

          • Thanks Dal, I guess that explains why he used the words “or something like that” after the Moby Dickens quote.

  48. When Forrest made this comment what day comes to your attention?

    “Many professional soldiers who have been in the throes of life-or­-death experiences may be forever branded by an incident, although it may have lasted only a minute or two. Later, in one’s reverie, those memories can come sparking back when ignited by something innocently said or something thought. If you see a warrior staring off, quietly move away. “- FF

    • Or this …
      “After all of the bullets and rockets and bombs had finished flying through the trees and across the skies, there was nothing left for us but the memory of 58,266 Americans whose names have been etched, chronologically by time of death, on that shiny black war memorial, which is constantly being washed clean by the tears of a million visitors. In another generation or so most of those names will be but an asterisk in the history of a forgotten war, a curiosity to wonder about, like the Lincoln Memorial. ” -FF

      • I would like to take the time, to thank all the men and women, that have served our country. The first reply to Wolf, the day the day that brings my thought rolling back is 9-11 Where a spark lit a giants tail on fire. The second I believe is Forrest sharing his thoughts about his war and experiences. Accounting for all the men and women that lost their lives for The United States of America and how we are all remembered in time.

  49. Winnie the Pooh

    During my search I ran across the 100 Acre Wood. That got me thinking …

    Since Forrest felt that children had an advantage then maybe it is cartoons in general that appeal to kids. If I gave the poem to a child they are likely to hone in on the phrase “in the wood” because of Winnie the Pooh and the hundred acre wood. This appears far fetched to me, but I offer a few interesting observations that give this theory a little boost. Forrest was planning to write a children’s book and he loves children and animals, and Winnie the Pooh is all about animals.

    Forrest posted a story from a lady in Winnipeg that had a picture of a couple of cute polar bear cubs. So what does polar bear cubs and Winnipeg have to do with finding the treasure? Well, Winnie the Pooh is based on a bear that a Canadian soldier from World War I bought from a trapper in Winnipeg, the soldier is actually from White River, Ontario. That bear was put in a zoo at the end of the war and a cartoonist wanted to write a story based on the bear. Two interesting observations: polar bears are white and White River could be hinting white. Why is white important? There is a story in his book, Tea with Olga where Forrest spends time drinking tea with an elderly lady who is about to die and she agrees to sell him her property if he will scatter her ashes on Taos Mountain (which doesn’t exist). Many feel he is hinting at three colours of tea, but if you take a logical view and believe there is more importance to what he does not say, then look for what is missing when he talks about red, green and black tea. The missing colour is white. The colour white may be very important especially since Dal Neitzel emphasized one of Forrest’s interviews used the colour white often when describing his definition of a blaze.

    White River Colorado leads to a town called Craig. Craig has a park with Winnie the Pooh, so is this the home of Brown? E.S. Shepard is the cartoonist who drew Winnie the Pooh, so do the words “drawing nigh” refer to drawing cartoons and is the cartoonist he refers to E.S. Shepard because a shepherd guards sheep and there exists multiple discussions referring to sheep including Forrest’s blog scrapbook story where he visited Suzanne Summers and his “twenty sick sheep” joke that emphasized listening.
    The Wolf

    • Wolf –

      Congratulations on your new book. I can’t wait to read it – and so nice that your going to have a PDF version.

      I know it will be very successful and loved what Forrest had to say about it.

      • Thank you very much Inthechaseto!
        I appreciated Mr. Fenn’s kind words and I will have a Kindle version at Amazon and Apple and other distributors as well, but my website should handle most of the readers.

        Just remember don’t ruin the surprise for the rest of the readers!

    • Thank you Mark, I worked on that baby for about 10 months, so it contains a lot on new concepts that I believe most will find enlightening and maybe it will help them take their solution to the next level. Good luck!

  50. I have gone back to school thus I do not read Dal’s blog anymore, so I am subscribing to my thread so that any comments or questions will be forwarded to me via email.

    Thank you everyone who have supported cancer research,

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