Phakes and Spoilers……

JULY 2015

There are people out there who are keen on spoiling everyone else’s fun. You might know the type….

Back in Michigan I lived in a thickly populated, urban neighborhood near Detroit. Still,  there was a coveted empty lot down the street where neighborhood kids hid in the tall grass, chased butterflies and collected bouquets of dandelions for their moms. But the most important thing that happened in that lot, as far as I was concerned, was ball. We played softball, baseball, whiffleball and any other game that took a bat and a ball of some sort. The type of ball played depended on who brought the ball. I had a hardball, but Steve Drojibecky had a softball and Billy Wojakowski had a whiffle ball. Everybody had a bat. No shortage of bats. But balls got lost and so at any one time there might be a wide selection or a narrow choice. We played whatever game we could and just adjusted the distance between the paper plates we used for bases to coordinate with the distance we could hit the ball. If we were using my Costa Rican, hand stitched, major league special, that cost an entire dollar at Grasekey’s Sports Chalet downtown the bases were so far apart we lost track of where they were off in the tall weeds and sometimes had to run around looking for second while some outfielder chased after you with the ball, yelling and screaming that you were OUT! Not being able to find a base didn’t matter. If you were tagged, you were out.

There was a guy that lived on the next block over. His name was Stewart. And Stewart liked to sneak up on our ball field from the direction least likely to be noticed and hide in the tall grass until someone hit a ball in his direction.  Then he would leap up like a jack in the box on cocaine, whoop a rebel war cry, grab the ball in the air, sometimes making spectacular catches, and take off running back to his house faster than a jack-a-lope. We’d all take off in pursuit but it was always a lost cause. Stewart must have had a pretty good collection of balls by the time he turned 12.

It always seemed to us that Stewart just wanted to ruin the game and spoil our fun…

We called him the Stewart the spoiler…


What made me think of old Stewart was this photo sent to Forrest the other day, that he wanted to share with us:


I think this photo originally appeared on Mike’s blog before he shut it down. But it still surfaces from time to time.

In my mind, and Forrest’s it is clearly a faked photo of the chest, in situ. Someone spent a lot of time (maybe not enough time) making a “sorta” convincing image of the chest buried in dirt. Why? Well, again, in my mind the purpose is to spoil everyone’s fun. It’s not evident to all that this image is a fake. To some, this will appear as real as the hair on Stephen Colbert’s head. To others this will appear as real as the hair on…well on Donald Trump’s head.

In fact, it is just a photoshopped version of the below photo from Forrest’s website:

Fenn001 2

As Forrest pointed out to the concerned sender of this photo:
“He (the originator of the faked photo) turned the chest 90 degrees and photoshopped the dirt and rocks on top. Note the 3 glare spots on the lock.”

My point is that there are a lot of “spoilers” out there who don’t want to get in the game but also don’t want you to have fun in the game. So they will do what they can to interrupt the hunt and take away the “thrill of the chase”.

Forrest says the chest is still where he hid it.

I already have my next search planned…
Now, if I can just find the time to get out and smell the good air…



90 thoughts on “Phakes and Spoilers……

  1. So True!!! Bad photojobbing, too. BTW, What ever happened with that Galaxotomic guy? Looked empty-handed to me….do you suppose?

  2. Dal … I hope you don’t think I am a fake or a spoiler. I Really do have this locked down but not gonna tell anyone anything. I would like to meet you , as well , after extraction of the chest. Mostly because you have been following since the beginning of the Chase.

      • I think Goofy has given him the boot – well, he didn’t add much – actually no – info to the mix.

        What I have had to realize – is that once you think you are finished – you are only just beginning – IMO there is a ground game – and if that can be solved from home – is a mystery to me. I certainly haven’t solved it from the ground.

        • I was there once, I went too far when he said “not to.”

          And now it makes more sense, of course,

          But not because I want it to…

          A hot new thrill to look forward to.

          Let him rant, he’s just another dreamer like me and you…

          What else do you have to do?

          And then, what if he is right, not you?

          just asking

  3. When did Forrest say it was still there. Date and time plz. Or are you referring to recent news. Without frauds and phonies this wouldn’t be any fun. I LOVE THE WHOLE THING!!!

    • I’m sure FF is right but…how does he know it’s still there, unless he goes out and checks from time to time or he has some way of knowing it has been found.

  4. I use to think I’d have the chest by now. I would never claim to have it if it were not true. For the record, I do not have the chest, Dal. I have not touched it nor do I claim to have seen it in person. I hope to one day make those claims… minus the “not.” Stay well.

  5. Well, a pox o’warts on Stew for stealing the ball. We played kick ball and woofle ball in a dirt-sage brush lot with rocks for bases. I Loved every minite of those neighborhood summer games where no one went home until the celestial ball disappeared over the horizon at 10:30 pm.

  6. Scratching my head. O”> trying to figure out why anyone would fake their possession of Forrest’s treasure chest.

  7. Orb. Yes, such great memories of being allowed to stay out that late playing Dr ckball or Red River. Western edge of Indiana stayed playable until almost 11pm. And parents were cool….

  8. I always knew it wasn’t buried. If it was, it would be full of mud/silt. There’s no way you can keep that stuff from accumulating inside it. Muddy water will seep through the cracks and then evaporate leaving tiny particles of mud or dirt. This process keeps repeating itself countless times over the course of 5 years its been out there and all those particles would be mud now. Forrest would have known this and planned for it, by not burying it.

  9. I bet F photoshopped that, pranks on you kids. Yea he’s good with photoshop so he made it easy on you this time.

  10. All Stewart needed was an attitude adjustment…….If someone saw one of our balls or bats lying around they would take a wide path around it. The thought of what would happen to someone that stole our stuff would give Stephen King the willies.

    Different neighborhoods I guess. 🙂

      • Who’s nobody? I thought we were talking about stewart?
        JK dal, lol, snort snort!

        Dal your stories are always an enjoyable read. This is no different, brings back fond memories…ahhh,
        And, I might as well confess, I was saddened you found carl. 🙂 Excellent. 🙂

  11. Thanks, Dal, for the story. I’m having a ball myself. I’m just waiting for the next one to come flying near me so I can jump up out of the grass and catch it and run home with it! 🙂

    …Just kidding. I’m too fat to jump anymore…and the balls I already have make it nearly impossible to jump anyway. (awkward silence…crickets chirping) :/

    That’s a joke, people. I’m sure some of you clearly see that, but some of us clearly don’t. For example, I totally thought that picture of someone holding the treasure chest was real…until some of you started picking it apart.

  12. Hmmm
    In the upper left side of the chest looks like a tiny face with two humps just to the right< a serpent guarding the chest? Maybe a dragon laying alien eggs. On right upper right corner next to the chest appears to be a handle, maybe from a pitcher or pottery, artifacts? Only SHE would know. The three shadows in the front of the chest looks similar to III or maybe roman numerals 3. I know that's must be, possibility, almost certainly maybe a clue. The lack of mud could indicate an ashy layer mixed in the dirt and rocks, Yep Yellowstone erupted 65,000 years ago, of course YNP …. I see major clues everywhere… Oh wait… this isn't a SB?!

    My Bad.

  13. Dal, enjoyable read as usual. We were out playing something all the time when I was a kid whether it was baseball, football, war, capture the flag, rain on the roof, to name a few. Poor sports were a rarity. It wasn’t until I grew up and realized that misery often seeks company and if they can’t find it, they create it. Sad but true.

  14. Sounds like the old days down at the Grange Hall for sure ! Playing whatever kind of ball we could, for however long we could. Our Stewart’s name was Terry. He’d get mad and just run off home w/the ball. The joke was on him most days cause we’d make him mad on purpose just so we could play serious ball after he left. Seems there will always be that 10% no matter where you are or where you are from. I say, the jokes on them ! Let’s get down to business and play some serious ball folks… Be safe out there all.

  15. Common sense should tell us all that if the chest was found the finder would surely put it on display for all the world to see/photograph instead of playing games as this poor sick individual is poorly attempting.

  16. Great story, my neighbors will fish garbage out of the can to use as a ball if they dont have one. Stinkers!
    We always throw their ball back when we find one. Kids will be kids. You only get one childhood. 🙂

    Hey, happy Independence Day to Everyone. Enjoy time with friends and family, play nice or at least

  17. Dal thanks you are so right. i know two or three people who have sworn to me the TC isn’t real, its a hoax, that we are not smart for looking, wasting our time. well we dont think we are dumb or the TC is faked or we are wasting our time

  18. That is the dumbest photo I’ve ever seen (the faked one). The last thing I’m gonna do is drag a shovel a couple miles into the woods and labor in a long and protracted dig until sunset.

      • Hi, Dal. I would much rather owe Pinky some money instead of some guy named Razor or Icepick or something similar. I took the liberty…since it’s almost Independence Day…to find you a new gangsta name in case Pinky comes lookin’ for yous.

        Your new name is “Swingin Skull Cruncha”. 🙂

        You’re lucky. Alls I gots was “Off Da Hook Hob-nobba”.

        My wife got “Da Tree Hugga” …which makes sense. 🙂

        Alls yous guys should give it a try…or else. LOL!

        • But Wait! That’s not all! For a limited time…pretty sure…you can also get your pirate name, among others, generated also. Simply go to the bottom of the page linked above. 🙂

          My pirate name is “Pirate Seamus the Cash-Strapped”…which clearly explains the piracy. 🙂

          • Ha ha that was fun! And if you don’t like the first answer you get reenter it you will get a new response…:)

      • No Dal, you don’t owe him any money. I mentioned him because you were from Michigan and also an avid baseball fan. Google “The Legend of Pinky Deras” and you will find out who he was and what he did.

  19. Fun story, Dal…by the way, my nephew is a huge Phillies fan. I also don’t understand the “spoilers” on the other blog…why do all these folks spend so much time on something so worthless (in their minds) if they think the hidden treasure chest is a hoax? I’m in it for the long haul and will never give up the search until Forrest (or you) announces it has been found. Happy 4th of July…is anyone else going to Santa Fe tomorrow for pancakes on the plaza?

  20. If you are going to photoshop a picture of the box at least put it someplace plausible. Under a bush, in a group of trees, under an overhang, in a lava tube ice cave. Put it at the Red river fish hatchery if you want. Just make it someplace that FF would leave his bones. Do you think he would float his body in the childrens fishing pond?

  21. Great story Dal. We used to play army in my the field across the street. Thank you and Goofy for maintaining watch.

  22. Dal, I grew up in a similar suburban neighborhood near Chicago. Except our empty lot was actually my backyard located on a street corner. For whiffle ball play, a few of us had “bazooka” bats. We also played 12″ softball (with gloves) and 16″ softball (no gloves). Home run rules were into the street for the whiffle ball, over the street for 16″ and over the street and over (neighbor) Sneads bushes for the 12″. First base was touching a telephone pole, second a sidewalk square, third a dirt spot and home plate a garbage can lid. We also had temporary time-outs whenever an outfielder yelled “CAR!” meaning one was approaching down the street. In Winter, a next-door neighbor who was a plumber would build an ice rink for his daughters to figure skate – but hockey was banned. Some of the good from the ole days.

    • All sounds familiar Kid..good stuff. In winter we too had temporary hockey rinks. The Barkhaus’s had 3 boys and they built a half sized basketball court in their backyard. It had curbing all around and could be flooded and became the perfect 3on3 rink in winter. Their mom made steaming cups of hot chocolate for everyone…
      We could always tell the “serious” hockey players because they sharpened their skates before every game..

  23. “Everyone had a bat. Bats weren’t the problem.”

    …I wonder if Stewart would have said the same thing.

    He sure seems awfully good at catching….and being chased…

    • I bet, under the right circumstances, he would have made a pretty awesome rescue/helicopter pilot…hey Dal, did your old team ever get back together for a reunion or anything after all these years? What are the odds that Stewart would be the first one there you think…haha I bet he’s still waiting at that same park…maybe he never even left…who knows. Sorry I get carried away in good stories sometimes lol

      • I’d like to know what became of all those kids, but I left at 18 and never returned..Memories may be better than the real thing 🙂

        • Who needs memories with guys like Stewart anyhow? He probably Left trails of flower petals in a straight line all the way home and then begged his mom for a hand massage so he could wake up, and reach right out for the same balls all over again in the morning. I wonder how often he had to switch his tube socks or if he just smelled around for the fastest pair. I’d love to hear where he is now…please do share if you ever find him!

  24. JC1117 – every young boy dreams of blowing things up – in my neighborhood dreams became reality every 4Th of July !!.•*•.!!

    Has Forrest ever recounted any funny West Yellowstone 4th of July memories from his boyhood? I’ve only seen the scrapbook about Skippy.

  25. So glad you posted this you are so right I’ve had someone the last few days trying to convince my family Forrest is a hoax they need to quit wasting there energy and quit sending me emails I’m in the chase for the long haul I love adventure whether I ever find it or not I enjoy every journey and I haven’t wasted one dime on looking and never have I spent money I didn’t have I have been to Montana already three times this year and plan on going back soon 🙂 I have to stay heel
    To toe with dal :/)

  26. Well, this is a curious one. Normally when Forrest makes this warning, somebody’s been bragging in the blogs that they found it. I don’t recall seeing much of that recently.

    He’s also said that he gets plenty of emails from people claiming to have found the chest. We all know they’re braggarts until someone actually provides real photos and Forrest confirms it.

    So what’s different? What’s rattled his cage? What has inspired him to launch what appears to be a pre-emptive strike? And why the addition of “spoilers” to this one? And why not a SB post to convey the message?

    • Searcher, there have been several lately to claim they have found or know where the chest is……it happens about this time every year.

      We’ve had the galactic guy that solved it in three hours; he was trying really hard to make an impression. Then there was Kenny that was preaching to us how wrong we all are. Then there was the Knight guy, he was a real drama queen, he was going to release a clue a week while keeping us wringing our hands and biting our nails in anticipation of his next revelation……There were several more. Of course when they don’t find it then the chest has already been found or was never there to start with.

      I think Fenn is getting as bored with them as we are…..A few years ago it was exciting, then it got humorous, then they became annoying, now they are just nuked and we pay little attention to them.

      I’ll have to admit the galactic guy did put a different twist on things; he would have impressed me a lot more if he would have come up with an original solution instead of combining and recycling a couple old solutions that were posted on the web a few years ago. He made a complete fool of himself.

      And so it goes…….

      • Yes, Goofy you explained that so well,

        Don’t you just love the fact that most of those claiming to find the treasure – never have contributed any hints or clues to the blog. Thanks for nuking that last guy – he was becoming boring after contributing nothing but bragging.

        • I’ve got mixed feelings on that. The braggarts are weird, but sometimes weird has a unique perspective that provokes a response I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.

          • OS, most don’t offer anything at all and just want to gloat and tell us how wrong we are.

            If they want to come here and say “in their opinion” they have solved the poem and present their solution to us for discussion that’s fine. Shoot, if they want we’ll create a page just for them, complete with photos, for them to make their case; under “other’s adventures” and “armchair adventures”.

            Many have done that and like you I’ve found some of them to have a unique perspective that has triggered some different thinking. I’ve enjoyed reading all of them even if I consider some of them weird; and commend them for putting themselves out there and open for discussion.

            Heck, even if someone doesn’t want to give us a complete solution and only present their thought process of solving the poem like Seeker did with his “From The Mind of an Abstract Thinker” post; we’ll put it up and give them a forum to discuss it. I disagree with his thinking but I greatly respect his willingness to put himself out there and take the heat.

            But I consider the arrogant braggarts and attention seeking drama queens to be a complete waste of electrons and our time. They can go someplace else or create their own blog.

          • I definitely don’t need someone I don’t know to tell me how wrong I am. I have a wife for that. 🙂

  27. Since we’re working with sports analogies…

    Hall of Fame – have been to Forrest house or met him numerous times
    Varsity – met him in person in town once
    Jr. Varsity – planning to meet Forrest
    Water boy/girl – dreams of meeting Forrest
    Statistician – too busy messing with the poem

    Get busy searchers! It’s only July and there time to meet the man with a plan.

    Spoiler alert: he’s smarter than you and your smart phone combined

    • 23k thanks for the laugh! He’s definitely smarter than me, but can he still drive? How do I get on the Phd list for a Fenn guided jeep tour of Santa Fe? I’m a wanna be 🙂

      • Hello, Anna. Do you think Taylor Clark…who wrote the recent California Sunday article…deserves a post-Doctoral degree? After all, he did play doctor with Forrest in the bathroom at his home. You know…the whole (sp?) “drop your pants” episode? 🙂

        Anybody know how Taylor’s dog bite is doing?

        • JC1117,
          Dog bites can be ornery. Hope he’s ok.

          Did you see the post on Jenny’s blog about that 1952 trophy moose weighing 1,117 lbs? Wouldn’t want him biting my leg!

          • Jc, I am shocked you have to go look for a post on a 1117 lb trophy elk. Me, I cannot recall this post so I’ll have to dig… hah! I’ll bet if that elks name were diggins I’d remember! 😉

  28. I am constantly worried that the chest has been found. If there are tens of thousands looking for it, I am surprised it hasn’t been found yet. It feels good to be reminded that it is still out there.

    Doesn’t anyone worry that someone found the chest and decided to keep it secret, possibly to avoid paying taxes?

    • Kevin, why worry? That’s out of your control. I would say the odds of us knowing about it are pretty good but we may never find out anything or the chest may never be found at least by anyone alive today.

      If you think it’s been found then don’t waste your time and money, if not keep looking.

      • I will stop worrying. I hope I run into some of you looking for the chest. Maybe I can share with you the mysterious magical ride this has been for me. Anyone here ever read about EEG rhythms derived from deeper level microtubule quantum vibrations. For some reason this treasure hunt triggered something within my finer scale neuron activity.

    • You can bet he has some form of tracking device. Nothing would be more thrilling than to find the chest, look up and see Forrest Fenn in person … smiling as we fainted.

      • If a three-year-old could make the trek, no reason why Forrest couldn’t go back and check.

        Undercover refers to the chest of course.

  29. hunch here. hello folks. that photochopped chest is the dirty work of none other than VG Boss! dang bushwhacker! see them girlie hands? thats VG alright. yes Dal, that photo appeared on Mike’s blog awile back. burns me up to see it again. I canceled search plans because of that scoundrel. but Mikes blog is gone, and so is VG Boss. good riddance! if i ever come across VG Boss on the trail why, I’ll kill em dead! DEAD! (sorry folks i get riled up sometimes)

  30. I played basketball as a kid, usually 3 on 3. Doesn’t F say he threw time in the waiste basket. Michael Jordan is mentioned in the book. I think his Jersey number was #23

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