A (partial) knowledge of geometry……




“Why do we need to hike all the way down there?” they asked. We were already tired from the several-mile hike the day before, and had already hiked a few miles that day to where we stood, just beneath 10,200 feet in elevation on the side of a mountain in New Mexico. We were standing beneath a rock formation that I thought looked like a campfire in Google Earth, what I was calling my blaze.

“We’re at 10,200 feet. Isn’t anywhere around here fair game?” they insisted.

“We need to get down to the trail,” I replied. More hiking. “You need a comprehensive knowledge of geometry.”

“I think you mean geography,” they looked at each other, and then back to me, skeptically. “He said geography.”

“Yes, but now that we’re here, this is a geometry problem,” I said.

Let me explain. Forrest Fenn has said that a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help searchers. It’s been a few months since I was out looking, but I thought I’d write this up because I had a day off from work, and I feel that this information could be useful to any searcher no matter where they are looking. It’s basic logic, and it may seem pretty straightforward, but I can imagine it’s easy to overlook when you have boots on the ground in the thrill of finally searching in your location.

There is so much about Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt that we don’t know. We don’t know which state. We don’t know what the clues mean in his poem. We don’t know a lot of things. However, if we take him at his word (and if we don’t, why bother searching?), there are a few things we do know. Some of the things that we know are actually very useful in weeding out bad search locations, or pinpointing high target areas in a location you feel strongly about. These hints that he’s dropped, unlike so many other clues, aren’t ambiguous, aren’t mysterious or shrouded in hidden meanings, and aren’t open to interpretation. They are, in fact, facts, assuming he’s being honest, and we all assume that he is. These facts don’t live in the realm of poetry. They live in the realm of math and geometry.

At a certain point, the search is no longer a question of geography. It’s a question of geometry.

He knows X, We know Y

Assumed Fact: Multiple searchers have been within 200 feet of the treasure.

Assumed Fact: Forrest Fenn knows this, because searchers have said where they’ve been.

Here we have two geometrical objects to work with. We have a treasure location, which we’ll call “X” (we totally have to call this X… X marks the spot). And we have a searcher location “Y”.

We don’t know X. Forrest Fenn doesn’t know Y. We don’t know each other’s Y. But after we tell him our collective Ys, we now know that X is within 200 ft. of some searchers’ Y.

We do know a few other things about X. Ignoring geographical information, such as it’s in the Rockies, north of Santa Fe, within four states, etc. we also know some geometrical z-axis information, namely that it is within 5,000 ft to 10,200 ft. This z-range is very useful.

X is a point, Y must be a point or line, Y is nameable

Whatever we do, we must remain geometrically consistent to have a good solve.

X is a geometric point. With just X, a point, there’s not a lot of geometry we can do. Thankfully, that’s not all we have. We also have a Y, and geometrically speaking, Y must be one of two things. Y must either be a single point, or a line, that is within 200 ft of X. Further, Y must be a nameable point, or line, for FF to know where the searcher is when he’s told. Let’s lay out another assumed fact.

Assumed Fact: Y is a nameable point, or a nameable line.

Consider these example (not real) emails:

“Hey Forrest, I was at Foo Bar waterfall. Sadly, I didn’t find the treasure, but I had a great time!”

“Hey Forrest, I was hiking along the Foo Bar trail. My wife tripped and fell into the river that runs along it. We’ll LOL forever off that one!”

Because the searcher identified Y (the waterfall, the trail, the point or line they were on), FF can then say that the searcher was within 200 ft. of X. Further, this is the only way that FF can know if we take him at his word.

I know, this isn’t rocket science. It’s pretty obvious. But you’d be surprised at how many potential solves don’t remain geometrically consistent with this, and how easy it is to forget when caught up in the thrill. Yet, if you keep it foremost in your thoughts, it has enormous benefits.

Case Example: We were standing at 10,200 ft., yet we were more than 200 ft below the blaze (a nameable point). We were partially geometrically consistent in being within 10,200 ft., but we were geometrically inconsistent because we were outside of 200 ft. of a nameable Y. We needed to get to the trail (a nameable line) that was much further below 10,200 ft.

What does nameable mean?

“Nameable” is a pretty loose term. One can name geometrical points and lines through GPS, after all. It’s conceivable that a searcher might email FF a list of GPS coordinates they were at as points, or even that they may have sent a list of all the GPS points they were at along a line. So far, the geometrical problem solving I’ve suggested is all math and geometrically fact based. However, I think we can go a little further by adopting a few likelihoods.

Assumed Likelihood: FF was not sent Y as a GPS point or a series of GPS points.

I mean, really? People don’t invoke GPS in email conversations. More to the point, “multiple searchers” are less likely to have sent FF a bunch of GPS coordinates that he had to then look up, measure from X, to conclude that Y is within 200 ft. of X. This, again, seems so simple, but it has very practical uses. A searcher should be ignoring areas that aren’t within 200 ft. of nameable locations, nameable in a common sense way that FF would recognize your Y. The nameable, perhaps, is where geography comes in. But after that, it’s mostly geometry.

Further, the nameable location has to be one that conceivably a number of searchers would have visited. One of the questions we have to ask ourselves when searching is, why hasn’t it been found there already? This is an important one. You have to reconcile two issues: 1) “Searchers” have been within 200 ft. of the treasure (not the general public, he said “searchers” wrote to him) and 2) They did not find the treasure. Your solve has to account for why they did not.

Case Example: Standing at 10,200 ft., we were further than 200 ft. from the blaze. Thus we had to get to the next nameable Y, a trail, a line, further down the mountain. To make this nameable location consistent with likelihoods, I had to assume that searchers would have taken that trail before. They had, it had been written on blogs. I also knew that the area within 200 ft. of the trail they had hiked on was not considered by them to be a high target area, but it looked good with my interpretation of the clues. Bringing it all together, within 200 ft. of the trail is my only geometrically consistent location, that is also consistent with likelihoods, and also matches my clue interpretation, and also accounts for why it hadn’t been found.

A geometrically consistent approach

See how it works? A knowledge of geometry (or keeping that as a focus) in your search not only reduces the search area, it makes searching more efficient. This applies wherever you are searching. We obviously didn’t find the treasure at this location in New Mexico because the location was wrong. The approach is sound.

I’ll wrap this already lengthy post up with an example of applying this approach to a target that we didn’t search. Turns out it was deeper on Taos Pueblo lands than we could get to. We tried, but the big Federal trespassing signs are quite convincing. Everything looks different on Google Earth, and all the routes I had to the location couldn’t get us there with boots on the ground. I don’t recommend you searching there either, but it’s a great case example for this approach (why I targeted it in the first place). I won’t bother push-pinning it. I’m sure you can find it. It’s up the mountain above the Veteran’s Memorial, to the north west. It’s called Apache Spring.

On Google Earth it kind of matched the clues. I could justify it through the poem, and it looked really good as a possible tie in to the Tea with Olga story. It was a beautiful, probably forgotten in time, natural spring in a clearing. It was a really unique spring as well. For some reason the ground was discolored at the mouth of the spring. I don’t know if this was rocks or vegetation. Bing maps highlight it better than Google, but it resembled the blaze on a horse’s face. These are the things that drive a searcher. It’s a real shame it’s inaccessible.

Let’s ignore all that. That’s geography, a bit of poetry, and just hunches. Now it’s a geometrical problem. Let’s apply the approach.

I have an unknown X. I now need to know what Y is, the nameable location that Forrest Fenn was sent. Looking at the clearing, I can see that the mouth of the natural spring that looks like a blaze is close to the tree line up top. The only nameable location here is the spring itself. “Hey Forrest, I was at Apache Spring up above the Veteran’s Memorial” is an email I could imagine multiple searchers sending (I didn’t know until I got there that it was inaccessible).

Standing at Apache Spring, virtually, I see that the path of the water flows into the treeline goes, “looking quickly down”, you guessed it, a little less than 200 ft. away. Geometrically, I now can guess that Y is the mouth of the spring and that X is just inside the treeline. The story I form for my solve is that searchers, on a hunch, went to Apache Spring, looked at the spring and didn’t see the treasure, gave up and left, and told Forrest about their adventure. Maybe they even glanced in the tree line but, because it wasn’t their target, they didn’t look closely. If they had just checked more closely in the tree line!

And that’s how it goes. This approach identified an area that, maybe, other searches had missed because it wasn’t their high target area. Since it wasn’t, maybe they half-assed the search, so now we can account for both searchers being there, and why it wasn’t found. We remain geometrically consistent throughout.

If this all seemed obvious to you, sorry for the long read. If not, hopefully you can get some use out of it. Best of luck out there, and if it does help remember: “It’s fortune and glory, kid.” You keep the fortune, let me share the glory. Give me a heads up if you find it using this approach.

Please feel free to contact me: jeremysdropbox@gmail.com


Jeremy Parnell


91 thoughts on “A (partial) knowledge of geometry……

  1. Thanks Jeremy! All makes sense to me and it’s possible that a few of the searchers had ‘whiners’ on board that just couldn’t wait to hurry back to cell range, warm vehicles, dry clothes, etc. Yea, it’s all about the 15 minutes these days, not the loot.

    • I think there’s multiple Apache Springs in NM. This one is on the Indian reservation surrounded by forests, just a small clearing, undeveloped natural spring. I don’t think there’s any homes around it.

      I’ll go ahead and push pin it https://www.google.com/maps/place/36%C2%B028'14.1%22N+105%C2%B020'50.0%22W/@36.470589,-105.347217,368m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

      You can kind of see the discoloration I was talking about in Google, but the Bing Maps really show it off. I’m around a lot of horses in Kentucky, so it looking like a horse blaze wasn’t much of a stretch for me.

      • Some of the extra tales I told myself included that this spring, like Blue Lake, feeds the Taos people’s sacred river. You can see that on the map. In the Olga story, FF talks about how nice the area he put Olga’s ashes was, but didn’t say exactly where he put them, just lower than the peak and in the general vicinity of “Taos” Mountain. Of all the clearings I saw around there, this one was the most unique, and matched the clues most closely. Flying over, I could see him letting the ashes out here.

        Not to belabor the point, but boots on the ground is so much different than tales from Google Earth. The only two routes that I found that could get me there are Pam Coleman and Route 5.

        Pam Coleman is private property with million dollar homes. I didn’t want to risk four guys showing up in a truck, parking there, and getting the cops called.

        Route 5, I found, can get you within miles of it, but more miles than an 80 year old would walk you get hit with a barb wire fence and Federal trespassing signs. The reservation lands extended much further than I guessed they would following Google. We tried a little 4WD off roading (that was a mini-adventure) around the fence. They just look like dirt roads in Google, but in reality you’re pushing your truck through narrow areas, at 45 degree angles. Now I know these are just service trails best taken with an ATV, not a rented truck. Since the fence line was still several miles from the target, we decided it wasn’t worth trespassing.

  2. I like your post and logic Jeremy. To help aid you and other searchers, from my research there are only two states the treasure could be located. Well, technically 3, but the part of Wyoming is limited to a very small range. The other two states are Northern New Mexico and Colorado. Additionally, I have narrowed the search area band down drastically in each state as there is one key item Forrest let slip. The overall area is still quite large and I am no closer to the starting point than before I discovered this information. So, fwiw Montana is out of the search area, for me at least. However , you are within the parameters that match up with my data.

    • @Nick, if you are thinking Pinon he has retracted that…..can’t pull it up but i was a firm believer in Pinon early on too…..but not now, still a firm believer in NM though!

      • Yes, that is what I was referencing, but I thought he said this earlier in the year. Along with sage, however apparently there are many types of sage and covers too much area to actually narrow down the location. I have only been to the rockies twice and it was around Denver, so I am not very familiar with the land.

        • Perhaps he retracted the Pinon because he knew that wasn’t in the area after it popped out of his mouth and he throught the mention would mislead people AWAY from the treasure instead of retracting because it led you TO the treasure.

          • he didn’t retract tube word. He clearly and purposefully said “or” pinon nut. IMO he said that keep the search area broad and vague.

          • Med-
            Oh yes he did and it’s pretty easy to find that statement where he denounced his “pinyon nut” statement…
            Many choose to ignore it…at their own peril…in my opinion..
            You should do better research.

          • Thanks for the reply dal. I don’t do much research so I definitely did not know that he did in fact retract it. Perhaps it will be at my own peril but Thats the angle I take so I don’t get too distracted.

  3. Jeremy, half-assed the search is a pretty good comment! Every time I go out all my searches seem half-assed as boots on the ground is so much different than what it seems on maps and google in all the planning before I go.

    • I totally second that, Somewhere. I have a few searches behind me…and it’s true…boots on the ground is a completely different ball game. Like clockwork…no sooner am I in my car driving away…than thoughts start coming to me. “If only I woulda done this”…or “If only I woulda done that”. I could have saved myself a few trips if I would have just camped there, but camping is so much more enjoyable with friends around…and none of my friends wanted to go where I was going. I guess they’re too afraid of grizzly bears and rocky cliffs.

  4. I know that FF said that there was someone within 200 ft. but I don’t remember him saying that they were searchers. He could have been talking about a campground area that a lot of people use each year, maybe even a pipular hiking trail that a lot od people use. You could walk right by it and not even know unless the other clues fit.

    • There’s a couple of recent interviews that have him saying searchers, saying more than one, and saying that they email him. Maybe someone can toss in a link here, I don’t have them on me.

      However, I think you can reasonably say that every campground, hiking trail, etc has likely had searchers on it in the last five years.

      Still, this does help in vetting a location, for the reasons I’ve suggested. If you’re more than 200 ft -from- a hiking trail, campground, or any nameable location at all, then you are probably looking in the wrong place.

  5. It just occurred to me while reading this post….forrest has told US that there have been searchers within 200 feet of the treasure….but did he confirm to THEM that they were within that distance?? If so, I wonder of any of those searchers would ever consider letting us know at least which State….I know that is asking a lot…but it just got me wondering if the searchers themselves know that they were actually so close. Anyone know the answer to that?

  6. Thanks Jeremy for your ideas on geometry. I would add that they may have been within 200 ft of the treasure if a road is within 200 ft of the treasure. That would explain why they didnt understand the significance of the area.

    I am glad you all got out to smell the sunshine. Hmm, another of those oddities….

    • We can’t rule out just passing along a random road, but we can put what that means into context. In a geometrical context, this is what we get:

      He stated that he walked less than a few miles that day. If Y is a random road, and X is less than 200 ft away, and he parks his car C on Y and walks a D of 200 ft to X four times we get a max of 800 ft distance.

      Now we can ask ourselves, does 800 ft. meet the definition of “less than a few miles” reasonably? Does 800 ft. really require two trips for a man of 80 who could have just put it in a roller bag, or a wheelbarrow, etc?

      Maybe, that’s for each of us to decide. But it helps to know the numbers geometry tells us when considering any random road.

  7. I should add that this post is just the broad strokes of the geometry at play to get you started. There’s other things that we can detect within a degree of likelihood. It’s kind of like: you can’t see a black hole, you only know it’s there because you can see how it affects the things around it, bending light and so forth.

    We also have a the car, C.

    We know that C is within a few miles of Y. How do we know that? He took two trips to it. He walked. We know he walked because he took two trips. You don’t need to take two trips if you park your car and unloaded a horse, ATV, or bicycle. C is within (distance an 80 year old can walk, four times) D of Y. Y must be nameable, so we are only looking for nameable Ys within a few miles of a C location.

    We mentioned trails. We know that if Y is a trail, then X is at least 12 ft. from Y and within 200 ft. of Y. How do we know that? He’s said that it’s not in close proximity to a human trail. He’s said that if someone was within 12 ft. of it, they’d likely find it. Thus, we know that we must go at least 12 ft. from Y and stay within 200 ft. of Y.

    When searching, we also know that we are only searching the length of trail Y from C, ie. D. We know that we can cover D in 24 ft chunks, because if we’re in the middle, we’ve got 12 ft on either side. We can ignore the 24 ft that is Y itself. We’ve got 200 ft on either side to cover, so 400 ft total along D, minus 24, broken into 24 segments and now we can figure how much walking we’ve got to do.

    If Y is a point, it’s even easier. We’ve only got a 400 ft search area, at a nameable Y, at a reasonable D from C.

    Trust me, this rules out -a lot- of locations, within a great degree of likelihood.

    • Jeremy, thanks for sharing your logic. Do you have a reference for where Forrest said it could probably be found if an individual was within 12ft? I don’t recall seeing that before.

        • I believe he stated. He couldn’t imagine someone being with 12′ and not find the chest… Not exact wording…

          The comment was related to others saying 12′ and Fenn corrected that, stating he never said 12′. This was even before the 200′ comment.

          Of course I’m going by memory here, so take it as you wish. There are always wrong quotes floating around, so you’ll need to check the many archives of fenn’s quotes to find it.

          • Right, I believe that’s correct. You’re not guaranteed to find it in 12 ft, just that it’s unlikely that you wouldn’t (probably if you’re within 12 ft you’ve solved enough to be on the right path). I don’t have the link on me, but that was the gist. I want to say it’s in the mysteriouswritings archives, but I don’t recall from memory.

          • First off – thanx again Jeremy for your math adjusted solve – I for one really appreciate the effort. However, (you knew that was coming, right?) we cannot assume that Forrest’s 200 foot comment wasn’t a reference to “common knowledge”. For example, if NM State highway 101 has on average 32 cars a day travelling on it near the cache site and Forrest knows the treasure is within 200 feet of NM highway 101, he can assuredly say with confidence that he knows that someone has been within 200 feet of the treasure. Secondly, if there is a road, path or trail nearby that is seldom used, if he waits long enough to know that someone assuredly has walked that way during his time of silence, again, because of common knowledge, he could say that somone has been within 200 feet of Indulgence. I do suspect, as many do, that someone did send him information to confirm this – but we don’t know for certain that they did, nor that his comments were made because they did. Just adding something to remember and to think upon.

            Good luck to all!

          • We’re assuming that he isn’t using common knowledge because he’s said that he wasn’t. He stated that searchers emailed him where they were, and that he then knew that they were within 200 ft because of what they said. He could very well be using common knowledge, guessing that people have been nearby because it’s near a busy road. He could also just be guessing, and have no idea at all how close searchers have been. I put in the disclaimer that we’re taking him at his word. I feel that by his words he isn’t using common knowledge.

            But we can follow this out. Let’s assume a geographical oddity in which the -only- way one can get to place P is by taking NM 101. P is miles and miles away from X, but FF knows that the only way to get to P is by taking NM 101, the Y. Thus, when a searcher emails that they were at P, Y is implied by necessity, and since Y is within 200 ft. of X, FF knows that the searcher was within 200 ft. of X eventhough they ended up miles away from it.

            That’s all fine, because that uses geometry in the solve, which is all I’m asking searchers to do. There’s a lot of solves that don’t consider this at all. Just by considering geometry you’re making your solve stronger.

            Maybe it’s not a geographical oddity and there’s a bunch of ways to get to P. Someone could have also said, to FF, that they were actually on NM 101 heading out to P, but then a lot of the already mentioned geometry comes into play. If X is within 200 ft. of Y which is NM 101, then we are actually stating that the distance D that FF walked is within 800 ft total, that he was only carrying for less than 400 ft of it. That’s the objective math that follows from taking him at his word. We then have to make the subjective and personal judgement of whether D fits the spirit of the “less than a few miles” he said he walked that day, whether that distance requires two trips, and (of course) whether we should blindly take a prankster at his word 🙂

          • Jeremy, please extend some patience towards me, as I am a newbie – only been here a couple of months. I cannot recall having seen nor heard the reference of Forrest stating that he replied about being closer than 200 feet because he heard from a seeker. It was my understanding (perhaps wrongly) that his response was made in answer to a question about a specific seeker being near the chest, as you allude to, not that that seeker mentioned a point and he replied concerning that point. It is a subtle, yet important difference. If you or another seeker has a specific reference to point to where Forrest speaks to a point a seeker is near to rather than Indulgence, so that it narrows it down to one seeker being in one location, then I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that we all should be looking for an “identifiable location” from which to initiate our search. I just haven’t seen that reference made by Forrest, or if I have, I cannot recall that I have seen it.

          • Gang, furthering this discussion and not giving away too much of my solve is getting more difficult. But allow me to say that my solve is such, that in my minds eye, I can easily see how someone could be close to indulgence (less than 200 feet), be near an identifiable point on a map that Forrest knows about and mentions to him in an e-mail, yet the seeker that e-mails Forrest has no idea whether or not they knew at some point in their quest that they were within 200 feet of the treasure. They are “blind to the fact” that they were so close and yet so far away. My solve depends on all the rest of you not knowing the same thing when you are within 200 feet of the prize. 🙂

            IMO – This line of thinking will help a person eliminate many other solves that do not meet the criteria, and Jeremy has given us all a tool with which we all can narrow down the scope of our search.

            Seriously, good luck to all!

  8. Good thinking Jeremy BUT here is the problem 100% of the time. Every new searcher who hears the poem for the first time says “hey I know right where the treasure is” after a few trips they realize a 1 foot box in the Rockies is not so easy to find. The confidence issue has been discussed and talked over a lot but without any real consensus. What makes you confident of an area is different than me. Confidence is really subjective in this case. For example I’ve shown some of my pictures to friends who don’t follow the chase and asked for there opinions. Usually they tell me “it doesn’t look at all like that” or “boy you have a big imagination” so again confidence is a difficult topic. I get what your saying this stuff is elementary but it’s not it’s very hard, so many variables to consider.

    • Thanks Ed. These are just principles to use in vetting a location. The very first impression I got when I visited the Rockies is how futile it is to even try. You feel very small, very quick. That said, I’m probably going to go back 🙂 We all are! These principles help to limit a very, very large area to a very large area. We don’t know where it is, but we can make certain statements about where it is not.

  9. I agree about the big imaginations only unmatched by Egos. If the focus is not on What Would Forrest Do? then you are barking up the wrong Brown. Some solves are so amusing I am surprised there are not Aliens involved. Happy Birthday Forrest Fenn. You have brought so much joy, adventure and dreams, I hope it is reflected back ten fold. Good luck to everyone. Crazies make the World go round and keep us laughing during the ride.

  10. Check your assumptions, Jeremy. That Y is a nameable point is not necessarily so. A picture sent to Fenn of someone next to a large rock or any other feature that could be observed from Google Earth could serve as Y. That means the possibilities for Y are virtually limitless and 200 ft. from all those Ys even more so. If you believe everything Fenn said, which you seem to, then solve the clues. He’s said it is the only way.

    • “Multiple searchers”, I feel, makes photos indicating Y as likely as GPS, unless it’s at a spot that a lot of people would photograph anyway, which would be nameable.

      • No disrespect intended Jeremy, because I like your logical approach to things. I just think you’re omitting some of the possibilities inherent in the 200 ft. comments. As Dal once so eloquently put it, Fenn is the master of making you believe things he never said.

        • No disrespect taken, at all. We’re all working in the dark, and peer review helps to clarify our thinking. I agree that there is a wide range of possibilities and I don’t mean to limit them in any broad sense.

          For instance, in my case example, the nameable Y is a completely subjective “blaze” that I thought looked like a campfire on the side of a mountain. It’s not labeled on a map, I would have to point it out to FF, but for FF to know where I am I have to be able to say “I was standing here.” I couldn’t say to FF that I was in the very broad area of Eagle Nest, NM, or even Cimarron Canyon, for example, because that doesn’t give FF the information he would need to say “within 200 ft.”. I have to have said that I was at Y place or along Y path.

          I’m not suggesting that searchers should only look around labeled areas on a map, or get a book of place names and only look there. Y can be anything, just something you can point out to Forrest, and a Y that is likely to have been a place other searchers have been.

          What I am saying in general is that if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, and there’s nothing you could send to Forrest saying I was here, you’re probably wasting your time. These are just self-checking principles, I think.

  11. I can’t say much about geometry, postulates and theorems. But I do know that there are several Apache place names. I think another place is over near Aqua Fria Lake near Middle lake. It is a Boy Scout camping area.
    The problem is getting access. From the east you have to go on UU Bar Ranch property. From the west you have to take some dubious dirt roads.
    I don’t know if anybody was able to get there. But many have mentioned Aqua Fria Creek.

    • Just remember that if you want to hide something from everyone you wouldn’t go somewhere that required special access and I don’t think FF at his age would be into jumping fences and treaspassing !

  12. Jeremy, I like your logic not so much to circumvent using the poem but to home in on the TC once in the area, below hoB and so near the blaze, the no paddle., etc. Also, I can’t find where he said 200 feet but he also had said 500, I try and bookmark everything but sometimes don’t label it properly or forget to hit save….lol. Remember to keep the ‘W’ ‘why didn’t I think of that’ comment in mind too! Location, location, location…..

  13. Fenn talk, within 500 feet? Could be 1 foot. One foot in front of the other, a step, equals about 1500 feet. 1500 feet in distance but only 500 feet. Did a searcher fly over on a hang glider? Was someone in a cave below? Are you looking from above, a map view, or from the side, across? Within 500 or 1500 feet should be viewed like a big ball. Big difference. Point is forget the things you don’t know and utilize the things you do. Like the poem.

  14. I like your objective logic, Jeremy.

    I think the take-home for us searchers might be, “You might be near the spot that someone else was on, and “this close”. Expand your visual search to at least Y+200ft.. Don’t get myopic.

  15. Jeremy,
    I really like your logic and try to apply something similar when I search. I think Palo Flechado is “brave and in the wood”, and “if you are brave and in the wood” means you are searching somewhere on the Palo Flechado Quadrangle map. Apache Spring is on this…the only problem is that it is clearly located on Taos Pueblo land. Do you realize that if the Indians catch you on their land, they legally can and probably will take your vehicle, not to mention a fine or arrest. That is what has kept me from searching Guajalote Park as well which is near Apache Spring. Scrapbook 107 had so many hints that could point to this area, especially the “bent” (territorial governor Bent, Taos street Bent, etc) $5 dollar bill (FR #5 goes back the canyon to the Taos Pueblo boundary near here), The arrangement of the pen, pen cap, and bill forms a “Z” which is the number Nine on a phone which had the tangled cord, and Ninemile Creek flows out of Guajalote Park. All of these are just above the Vietnam War Memorial. There are more hints in that scrapbook that point to this same general area. Pam Coleman Drive runs through the Taos Pines subdivision which borders the Carson National Forest. Even though the subdivision is private property, the roads are public, but that doesn’t help much if you want to get out of your vehicle and search. I also thought the “blaze” could be the Angel FIRE ski runs but since they can be seen from many places, I thought if I could locate one spot on the ridge where I could see the ski runs and the Vietnam War memorial at the same time, it could be the “look quickly down, your quest to cease” spot. It took me two trips but I did finally find that one spot…I did not find the treasure chest despite a few hours looking…I even crossed the fence between the Carson National Forest and subdivision onto someone’s private property. It was winter, though, so no one was around. And there was no human trail in close proximity. And the ridge top was not that far from the forest service road, nor was it particularly steep. FF definitely could have made two trips to that spot in one afternoon. Thanks for sharing your idea about geometry. I will continue to search other places on this quadrangle map.

    • I was very surprised by the fence location. I actually thought Guajalote Park was outside the reservation before I went. I did think we would have to go into the reservation a few hundred feet to get to Apache Spring, but thought it would be a quick peek-look, beelining to the tree line. When we got there, the only place I could imagine FF parking is still several miles away. We had a lot of fun looking where we did end up, though, and that was our primary target, so it was still worth the trip.

  16. Jeremy,
    You show an interesting line of line of thought. But If I may, as per your examples, [ yes I know they were just examples]. For any math to work, in the solving of a location, the information of those figures would need to come from the poem itself. Knowing 10,200′ or 5000′ or even 200′ is irrelevant. These where never known prior when the poem hit the publics eye.

    What I like about this line of thinking is… it should develop an exact, precise location. The line in the poem ” But tarry scant with marvel gaze” has always caught my attention to a mathematical conclusion. Tarry Point to be precise. Tarry is the name of the person who develop the equation and scant meaning small or pin point or Point. This also may refer to the blaze itself as following points or markers set in the poem [ a trail you must design yourself ]. It may be possible to know the “blaze” or equation prior to ever leaving your home… but without the first clue, you have no idea how to use and / or where to apply it.

    The other interesting fact is, the 9 point circle [or possibly the 9 clues,] . This is another math related directional locator, if you will, and is taken from Tarry Point.
    All in all, I believe math may just be involved with the solution. Of course you’ll have your critics who will say this is “over complicating” the poem. But I would say just interpreting tarry-scant; as linger for only a short time, is “over simplifying” the poem as well. But IMO for any math or location… whatever design that may be, should be found strictly within the poem itself.

    After the fact comments are informative and helpful… but true to the poems solve? is highly unlikely, or so vague [ such as 10,200 – 5000′ ] that they can only be use as a final perimeter confirmation of where your math takes you. Some searchers believe that because FF stated he was not good at math this idea falls short. I would remind those folks of the Comment of Lets harken to 1620 and the 66,000 links, As well as navigation training, or the post on secreting a can of Dr. Pepper, etc. The man is very calculating, yet straightforwards.

    Good thought Jeremy.

    • Thanks. I should clarify that I think this approach is more for vetting a solve generated from following the poem, not as a replacement for following the poem. You must follow the poem.

      My complete solve was actually very much following the poem: http://dalneitzel.com/2015/06/15/search-new-mexico/

      This is for when you get to the location, or a checklist before leaving to make sure whatever poetic interpretation you came up with is -also- consistent with what he’s said beyond the poem.

  17. Let’s see… X is a golden needle, Y is lines like straws, and Z is a haystack, right? I never was good at math (my eyes kept crossing and everything itched.) But I am impressed by the rest of you guys.

    • os …….for a second i thought my tumor had doubled in size. lol did you finish reading enduring aceqias? whats your opinion on the watershed ? is it the true wwh? I wish i could pic his brain for an hour or so. my uncle is 95 years old and knows this place better than any other . he tells me to let it go and forget its in there. all my familly says the same thing. my recent bad luck is cause of this search is what im told. they say its not for us to find and if you can’t eat it or drink it leave it alone. they also told me to leave the shadows alone and to ignore them if i see them they say there ancient and demonic. and thats all they tell me. i think thats the catholisim in them talking. im a born again jesus freak and my GOD is greater than any others. and those shadows have no power over me. they do taunt me though cause they know i know. sounds crazy doesnt it. seeing things and faces that others cant is curse cause cause everywhere you go there they are. this is my X+Y=Z. LOL I thought this was a geography class. i know lets have a spelling bee. and start from the beginning . CAT

      • Yes, I finished the book. And El Gringo as well. I always buy used books because I scribble my notes all over them, and it’s fun to go back years later and see if I retain the same opinions and focus. So thanks for leading me to these new waters. I imagine that it was really exciting when acequia gates were opened; to witness the wisdom and industry of so many hands that engineered a shared system of vitality and survival for their community. It must have been a proud & joyful bonding moment. I don’t know anything that would equal it today. Everything flows in pipes below ground and the urgency of life is well hidden and remotely managed. I was surprised to see how the system and language were rooted in old world Moor culture. Though the book really could have offered more photos and some MAPS!
        My sense about the treasure hunt is more guess than reason, and the upper watershed appeals more to me than the box. I imagine Fenn’s secret hides high in mountain silence before the trickles of melt turn into noisy torrents. I might feel different if I were there or I if had your experience of the land. I put no faith in external spirits or demons and such, but I agree, those shadows and rainbows are provocateurs.
        Good luck, keep the thrill, glad you’re getting better.

  18. Jeremy, personally I think you have nailed how to limit a search area. For Forrest to have identified that searchers were close, within 200ft of the treasure, Forrest needed to share the same understanding as them as to where they were; they would have had to have identified, named something which Forrest recognised, a name of something, something specific. Not just a general remark as to an area but something which is shared knowledge. 200ft near the treasure compared to the size of the Rockies…is not a statement by a searcher, for example- I left such and such river and climbed the west face of such and such mountain. There is detail for Forrest to recognise and that IMO is a name of something. Bravo.

    • For all I know my right foot could have come within 3 feet of the left side of the box but hey who’s counting. I remember pausing under a shade tree at noon and think I saw something odd but can’t remember exactly. Seems like pure conjecture because we don’t know the searcher or when. If we assume that we are the searcher we’d just end up chasing everything and anything. I think Stephanie tried that and I think she is the one who would turn every rock over if she knew—although she might want to dig before she turns the rock over. IMO

  19. What Jeremy has deduced is that on a map the treasure is within 200ft of a spot that has a recognisable name. IMO it is highly likely to be a pin point not a track or road/highway unless all the searchers said something like-I walked for ten minutes past such and such waterfall. IMO this elimanates areas that when viewing a map are not within 200ft of something that can be named. It doesn’t help as to what is WWWH nor where it is but IMO it could add to the tool bag.

    Good luck all

  20. Jeremy, you are indeed, wyz. I disliked math, and algebra has completely slipped my mind. This is a well thought out and explanatory post.
    Has anyone asked themselves, could this be me? Could I be that searcher?
    And/or, why has this person/people not come forward? Forrest said that likely a finder could/would not stay silent. Is the finder supposed to stay silent?
    Curiouser and curiouser….

  21. Sometimes, in our effort to sound really smart, we instead, sound really dumb. So, that said, I try not to say much. 🙂

  22. Good or bad, Jeremy has opened a door that I would like to go through – but on a different tangent (bad pun, I know). I’m sure some of you have wondered why I have a picture of a Saturn V during launch (I think it is a picture of Apollo 17) as my identifying “trademark”. It’s really rather simple – I fly model rockets and have since 1972. (Yeah, I’m old as dirt.) When finding a rocket that has fallen in a corn field with corn growing in it that is taller than you are, without a noise maker of some kind attached to your rocket, you could walk within two or three feet of your rocket and not see it. I know this to be true by going back through the field a second time using a different grid search pattern. I am not implying that you will find Indulgence using a search grid, however, I do want to emphasize just how far 200 or even 12 feet is.

    In my prime, when playing college football, I could toss the old pigskin about 65 to 75 yards, depending on wind and how I was feeling that day. That’s right in the neighborhood of how close folks have been to the treasure. I have also hunted white-tail deer in forests in two different Northern states. A 75 yard shot with open sights is doing pretty good, and I have done so a couple of times. I much prefer shooting deer with only 30 yards or less between us. That is mainly due to the fact that there is so much under-brush, that you cannot see much further than that. Even in old wood, where there is not a lot of undergrowth and only large diameter trees to shoot around, you rarely get more than a 50 yard line of sight because of the randomness of the trees growing.

    All this to say, if you are in the wood and within 200 feet of Indulgence, there is no way you are going to see it unless you know the solve and walk up to it. I dare say that you could be within 12 feet of it and not see it, if you are looking in the wrong direction. The implication from Forrest, that Jeremy gave a link to (Scrapbook 78), where he says in point two “I have not said that a searcher was closer than 12’ from the treasure. It is not likely that anyone would get that close and not find it”, is that if you are that close, you are probably using a search grid of some kind, and that you will eventually come upon it. (At least that’s one possibility anyways.)

    • Deity- It’s your tangent. Tell it anyway you want. (Joking, you said it well 😉

      Given the compound sentence structure using “AND”
      another tangential interpretation of Fenn’s statement could be “Its not likely that anyone will get that close.” and..

      To my uncertain knowlege… ff has not indicated anyone has been inside of 200 ft.

      In summary, maybe it’s not likely anyone will ever be closer than 200 ft. Various geographical scenarios match that trajectory:
      200 ft inside bounds of private property; on top of a 200ft cliff 200 ft down a cavern;
      island midstream in river or lake;
      inside a natural vaulted structure with open air roof;
      200 ft down a steep ravine between human chest or butt shaped buttes ‘the chest’ or landform resembling a chest is exposed; but gold is concealed below earth. Wolf will appreciate that one.

    • Cholly, thanx for the link! Ok, as best as I could, I have transcribed what Forrest replied when asked by the interviewer if anyone has gotten close: “Yes, people have come pretty close. I know people have been within 200 feet, because they have told me exactly where they were. I don’t know that anyone has been closer than 200 feet to the treasure.”

      This may have been discussed here in another earlier blog that I have not seen, but I see this quote can be interpreted in at least two ways.

      The first way is to take it literally, and by that I mean that when Forrest uses the word ‘they” when referring to who was close to the treasure, he was intending to mean more than one seeker at the same time, a group of people – a family perhaps?

      Or more coloquially, instead of identifying the sex of the single seeker that told him exactly where they were, instead of saying “he or she”, he simply says they.

      So, was it one or more folks that told him exactly where they were? I would guess that singularly, that more than one individual has told him, perhaps independent of one another, where they were as they searched; that two or more individuals on separate occasions, have contacted Forrest and told him where they have been searching.

      What we don’t know from what is said is whether or not the individual seekers referenced the same point so that Forrest knew that they were within 200 feet of the treasure. You cannot argue a point from silence. As far as we know, 100 different indivduals have contacted Forrest and have given him 100 different points on a map that he knows are within 200 feet of the treasure. While this is unlikely, never-the-less, it may be true.

      It is also unlikely, but not outside of reason, that only one group of individuals has been close and they are the only ones Forrest is referring to when he says “they” in the interview. This would mean that a smaller number of folks have figured out where to start from.

      Either way you look at the word “they”, it is not likely a large segment of the searcher population – a small sample, as it were.

      And I think all the other comments I have previously made in this thread stand, even with this new information.

      • There’s a couple of different references to the 200 ft. You’ll have to poke around. In at least one he mentioned multiple search “groups”, ie. if referring to families, multiple families.

        I’m not stuck on how many. I’m more concerned with search area. 100 different individual point-Ys would still yield only a 400 ft. search area because they all stem from X. 100 different people on 100 different various line-Ys only yield on small area that they’d converge on X.

  23. I didn’t reply to everyone individually, but I just wanted to say thanks to all for the compliments, and wish you all the best of luck in your searches. You are all an awesome community. You don’t find that a lot in forums on most topics. Even criticism, when given, is given so politely and constructively. It’s encouraging and makes one want to help with a few pointers, even if that gets someone else to the treasure before you.

    Of course, we’re all keeping our closely guarded specific ideas out of here and just laying out general things that might help, but you get the idea 🙂

    Stay awesome folks and go find that treasure.

    • Jeremy (and others that have joined this fray) – thanx for all your input as we share those thoughts that we think will help all searchers.

      Another caution I would share is to not think that because we know that someone was within 200 feet of the treasure, that that point must be where Forrest started hiking from his car. it is highly unlikely that this is so. It is more likely that he hiked to some spot that was identified by one or more seekers, that’s how he knows they were close. We have no idea how long it took the seekers to get to this identifiable spot. One could suspect it took up to an hour though – one way, for a total of 4 hours or less of hiking in the stashing of Indulgence.

      Again, this works just fine in my mind’s eye of my solve.

  24. Thanks Jeremy, quite logical which confused me. However there was this one thing you said that keeps me scratching my head.

  25. my apologies on my last comment couldnt help myself. so in return i gave eveyone a solid WWH. And the physical boots on the ground blaze is the sunset . when the sunsets and sadows come out to play only the blaze is brave and wise enough to stay and guide your way to tree of the underwood thats only if your brave enough or dum enough to find your way back in the cold dark night.good luck

  26. I’ve recently noticed that there’s a couple of Jeremys on here. I think I need to start signing my comments “Jeremy P.” 🙂

  27. I know this thread has been inactive for a bit, but did anyone consider when Forrest states 200 or 500 feet that he’s talking about vertical feet? If I email Forrest and tell him I’ve been at x, which is located at 5500 feet above sea level, then if the treasure is located somewhere completely different but at 5700 feet, then he can honestly say that a searcher has been within 200 feet.

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