A Subtle Hint?……

A Subtle Hint?

By Sacha J

As some of you know, Forrest held a book signing on Saturday, November 14th, at the site of his former residence, the Nedra Matteucci Galleries.  I am a New Mexico local, and have always wanted to see the galleries, so I took the excuse to go.  Something happened during my trip, which I have decided to share with all of you.


The building is quite prominent, and takes up an entire corner in Santa Fe.  The sculpture gardens are absolutely breathtaking.  According to Forrest, it is 2.5 acres, and that is a lot of space in the busiest part of Santa Fe.  There was art on every wall, including in the restrooms.  One restroom had enough old tools and horse bridles hanging from the ceiling and walls to fill a blacksmith’s shop.  Forrest told us that he collected each and every one of those items on his own, with the help of a metal detector.  He seemed very proud of that.

01 copy

While I was taking in all the art, I ran into a few other searchers.  I ran into Cynthia, Barb, and Crowfeast,  and a few others whose names I can’t remember.  Some of us got there early enough, and we were lucky to get a personal tour of some of the property from Forrest.

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He showed us trees that he had planted, which started out as small around as a marker, which now had trunks so large that Forrest could have hidden behind one and not been seen.

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He showed us what vigas are, and a beam with 17th century Spanish carvings still on it.  He showed us his old foundry, where he used to pour his bronzes.  It has been converted to fireplace, but you can still see the vent that Forrest used.

Forrest continued the tour indoors, where he showed us where the original building ended.  It is now very much an indoor space, but the original wooden doors that led outside are still there.  Forrest wanted to show us all his work on the doors.  He led us into the building, and then slammed the large wooden doors closed, making people on the other side a bit nervous.  Then, he lifts a large piece of wood and slams it into the iron holders, almost knocking a painting off the wall in the process.  Everyone stood in awe at Forrest, as he told us how he added the little iron details so that no one could saw through the wooden beam.  He then lifted the beam away, and accidentally knocked a pad lock onto the floor.  “I am gonna bring the place down if I am not careful,” he says.  Forrest replaced the giant wooden slat where he found it, and opened the large doors.  The look of relief from the gallery employees and the people on the other side of the door was priceless.

It was quite an entertaining time, but I have saved the most important part for last.  It is what I think may be one of Forrest’s subtle hints.  While Forrest was showing us the old foundry, I noticed a John Moyers painting in the corner.


However, it is different than the one in Forrest’s recent scrapbook post.  The one in the foundry is of a Native American standing, holding a blanket.  However, the person in this painting is facing a different direction and is wearing a different blanket than the one in the image Forrest used.  Cynthia, Barb, and I are standing there, when suddenly, Forrest points to that very Moyers painting and says “There it is.  That is the one from my scrapbook.”  Cynthia, Barb, and I immediately recognize that it is not the same painting, and have a brief discussion about it. I laugh and tell them that Forrest is pulling their legs, and he is enjoying seeing us all in a tissy over it.  But, as I came home and thought about it more, I think it was Forrest dropping a subtle hint.  And, in the spirit of the impending holidays, I decided to share it all with you.

You can see the Moyers painting for yourself in person, at the Nedra Mattucci Gallery in Santa Fe.  You can also visit the following website to see many of Moyers’ works: http://www.matteucci.com/contemporary-artists/john-moyers/

Someone suggested that Forrest may have forgotten which painting he used in the scrapbook, but I don’t believe that for a minute.  Forrest has not proven to be forgetful.  But, I can’t say I know what the subtle hint is, if one does indeed exist.  I suppose that is up to each of you to decide.

Sasha J

67 thoughts on “A Subtle Hint?……

  1. Sasha

    Nice article and so well written! I met FF at his other book signing at La Fonda Hotel a few months back. He did not give us any hints that I am aware of…What a special treat to get the inside tour from the man himself, wish I was there with you all! Thanks for sharing the possible hint, I like the painting too.

  2. Mr. Fenn is very sharp at mind, take heed! But I don’t think it will help you until you are near the end of the poem. He is a prankster!!!

  3. The photo from the scrapbook depicts a chief wearing a classic Najavo Eastern Agency blanket with river symbols (most likely Rio Grande). He is looking East, (very slightly South). The Eastern Agency tribal lands do not spread beyond White Rock of Sandoval County, New Mexico which just so happens to be a few miles Northwest of Santa Fe. The second painting depicts a chief in a classic Apache blanket facing West. (Carrizozo is mostly Apache and could be used as the Western most point of Apache lands). If one triangulates an intersection point north of Santa Fe between the territories of the two chiefs’ reservation land one arrives at a location a couple of miles South of Rio En Medio. Interestingly enough there is a Pacheco “Canyon” road in the immediate area. Pacheco was the cartographer who mapped New Mexico and also happened to be regarded as the Southwest’s Leonardo DaVinci/ Master of many arts. There are two waterfalls in the little Pacheco canyon and we all know Forrest loves his waterfall. I hope the blanket history/ chief depictions can be of some assistance.

    Kind Regards,

    • Thanks Aureus! I was wondering about the way the sun was rising and setting in the two different paintings but didn’t know diddly about the type of blankets and the symbolism….the who, what and where….good stuff. Dream time for me!

    • You are confusing White Rock Canyon in Sandoval county with the White Rock Navajo Chapter in the Eastern Agency. They are not the same. White Rock of the Eastern Agency is about 28 miles north of Crown Point. White Rock Canyon in Sandoval County borders Los Alamos County and is over 100 miles from the White Rock Navajo Chapter. http://whiterock.navajochapters.org you can google for white rock canyon Los Alamos to find where it is.

      • Moreover Carizozo cannot possible be considered the western most point of the Apache Lands. For starters there are the demographics of Carizozo (according to wikipedia). “As of the 2010 census,[1] there were 996 people residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 78.71% White, 0.70% African American, 2.61% American Indian, 14.16% Other, and 3.82% identified as two or more.” Here are the coordinates of Carizozo 33° 38′ 38″ N, 105° 52′ 39″ W
        33.643889, -105.8775 according to Geohack: https://tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geohack.php?pagename=Carrizozo%2C_New_Mexico&params=33_38_38_N_105_52_39_W_region:US_type:city .

        Here are coordinates of the Jicarilla Apache Nation: 36°54’56.86″N
        107° 1’21.18″W

        a full 2 degrees west of Carizozo. Your theory doesn’t align with easily ascertainable facts.

        • Oops. The Jicarilla Apache Nation is not a full two degrees west of Carizozo as I misstated above. It is only about a degree and nine minutes west of Carizozo. Either way, it is decidedly west of Carizozo.

  4. Thanks, Sacha!

    I find amazing that most native Arizonans have not seen the Grand Canyon.
    How is it we live in an area and yet don’t see our local sights? 🙂

  5. Sasha, Thank you for sharing, What a wonderful experience to get a tour with Forrest. I would have loved to hear him explaneing and showing all the work he had done. He is truly a talented man who has done many fun and neat things and never afraid of hard work or getting his hands dirty.

  6. Thank you Sacha very much for the tour with you. I loved it! I have always wondered about the gallery and what it looks like. IMO, I don’t think there was a hint there. Thanks again for doing this and thank you too Forrest for giving them the tour so we all could see. Wish I was there.

  7. Nice pair, I wonder why they were painted in different sizes?

    Chief’s Blanket
    oil on board
    18″ x 12″

    Navajo Red
    oil on board
    30″ x 20″

  8. Sasha, thank you for sharing! I’m jealous… warm smiles.

    Interestingly, Navajo Red does seem like a piece of the puzzle??? Borders?

    And Now Back to the metal detector argument? To take one or not to take one? That is the question!

    I also have recently been looking at the Gallery on the net. and wished I had stopped in person to see it.

    Note: I am also working on gathering 10 Million… grins!


    Mark H. 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing your tour with Forrest of the Gallery – nice write-up and love the pictures! I wish I had been able to attend – maybe some day…… 🙂

  10. Those 2 paintings are similar yet so different. Like the searchers: so close yet so far away. Start looking for the needle and not the haystack. FF thumb covered all of Philadelphia. So close yet so far away.

  11. Hello! I only heard about the treasure recently and would like to share my thoughts. I know you hear this all the time, so delete me if you like. First, I don’t believe the locations referenced by the clues are in order, like they are in the poem. I was going to mark a map with the locations that I discovered along the trail, then connect the dots to see if I had an intersecting X anywhere. But that just seemed a little too insane. If Mr. Fenn planned it to be out of order and encompass such a large area, my brain won’t be up to the task of solving the riddle. But here goes.

    -A very useful website: http://www.santafetrailresearch.com
    The trail begins on the Missouri/Kansas border and ends in Santa Fe. The
    website above refers to the “Heavy Loads” carried by the wagons on the trail.
    “Blaze” is a trail marker, and the trail runs through CHASE COUNTY, Kansas.
    Along the way you encounter campsites like Admire, Kansas. Admire is the same as “Marvel Gaze” (Longshot, I know). Then there’s Cottonwood Falls, Blackpool Campsite for “Tarry Scant”, and the trail seperates into WET and DRY routes. Maybe the treasure is wet because it’s on the wet trail mountain route. “Begin it where warm waters halt” could refer to the terminus of Rio Caliente. Just west of the river and further south of Ojo Caliente Warm Springs Spa, is the dry creek bed Arroyo De Las Mulas. The name translates as creek of the mules and covers both, the “No paddle up your creek”, and “heavy loads and water high” clues. Since Mr. Fenn drove the trail, he “did it tired”, meaning four tires on a car. At this point “the end is drawing ever nigh” at La Fonda in Santa Fe. The end of the trail brings us to a location that I think is potentially important, right next door to the spa!

    I know that he said it’s not “associated” with any structure, but he wouldn’t want it to be, due to the potential ownership problems that would arise. If it’s not his property, be quick and don’t loiter, just take the chest and quietly go in peace. No one needs to know it was found on their property. Uncle Sam probably doesn’t need to know either, maybe. The Chapel is currently owned by a private company and I’m not sure if Mr. Fenn is the actual owner or not. The chapel features a helical “Miraculous Staircase”, which is made of wood and stands without nails or support. The chapel was initially built without a staircase. The nuns prayed for God’s help for 9 days, COUNT THEM 9 (NINE) DAYS, before a mysterious carpenter appeared and offered help. Also, “Warm waters halt” next door at the spa, and the chapel is also on E. Water Street. Mr. Fenn went in by himself and hid the treasure, so no one knows the location but him. The spiral staircase might be difficult to climb, and is currently blocked off from public access. You would definitely have to be “Brave and in the Wood” pews to get up it. At the top of the staircase is the choir area. “So hear me all and listen good”, pray quietly in the pews and rush up the staircase when no one is looking. Once on top there is another staircase that leads up. Be quick and “Tarry Scant”! The top is pretty high, so don’t look down or you might fall, and your “Quest would abruptly Cease”. You might also want to look in the confessional below the stairs….
    P.S., The chapel’s stained glass windows bear the Alpha and Omega symbols, just like the illustrations in Mr. Fenn’s book.

    BUT WE ALL KNOW IT IS NEAR PUEBLO SAN LAZARO. There is a man made reservoir where the waters halt and a canyon below. The dry creek bed Arroyo Del Chorro, which means “Jet black”, could be the “Tarry Scant”. Across the arroyo is the “Home of Brown”, both for color and the Tano Indians that lived there. Underneath is a spring and a small cave. Supposedly Mr. Fenn is no longer the owner, but still has “privileges”. It is an area that he would feel comfortable in and the perfect place to hide the treasure.

    “The Burning of Zozobra” festival at Ft. Marcy Park. It provides the blaze, the burning of “Heavy Burdens”, “In the Wood” box of sorrows, and the “Go In Peace” Martyrs Cross. Mr. Fenn “Already Knows” since he is a member of the Society of Quien Sabre. Not sure what that is, but it sounds good. I think there is an author Brown link too..

    Sorry if this is old to you. I was very skeptical yesterday due to the dimensions of the box. 10 inches by 10 inches by 5 inches. The olive and gold dust jars take up a lot of space. But, gold nuggets can fetch double the value of their gold weight, and precious gems have no limit. So I calculated the square mm volume of the box, plugged in the dimensions of a standard troy ounce bar, and to my surprise it would easily hold well over a million in gold and gems. Plus, 42 pounds at 14.5 troy ounces per pound, just in gold weight, is an incredible amount of money. I know there isn’t 42 lbs of gold, just for reference. If any of this helps you and you feel generous, please think of my brother Chris and his two kids. For just 75 cents a day you can feed, clothe, educate and house a child in Africa. My brother can easily afford the $1.50 a day, he just can’t afford the airfare to ship them over there. Your help would be most appreciated.

    P.S. If Valerie Plame has poor eyesight, bad judgement, and is currently single, I would really like to marry her. If she is not, please disregard my last statement.

    Take Care,
    Matt Brubach

  12. Thanks for sharing that story, Sasha. You were very fortunate to spend time with Forrest…especially getting a tour of the beautiful gallery and grounds that He and Peggy built together. Stunning…almost surreal.

    I can imagine your reaction when Forrest pointed to the Moyer painting and said it was the one from the scrapbook. He’s a REALLY sharp gentleman…I’ve noticed…and I doubt he would make a mistake like that. If I was there I would have kept my mouth shut about it, but I’d be thinking to myself…”Are you kidding me?”

    • My thoughts exactly…he is sharp, lucid, and full of p n vinegar if you ask me.
      Darn tootin good actor too, almost had me believing he’d lost his mind!
      Long live forrest fenn!
      And happy birthday to you miss Peggy! Long live you both!

      Super jealous of the tour, but grateful you shared sacha. Thank you!

  13. Great pictures Sacha, I really enjoyed seeing them and reading your well written story. That was really nice of Fenn to give you a tour……..

    Did you give him a Dee Lux Wee Gee Board Mouse Pad to put him in such a good mood. 🙂

    • Thank you Goofy.

      I didn’t give him the Wee Gee board one. I did give him a mouse pad with a map on it, and a coffee cup with the map in it. Both will be available on my website later today.

      Cynthia did buy a Wee Gee special from me. It looks much nicer than the one in my pictures. She says she likes it a lot.

      • Great story Sacha… I really like my running man shirt… Just trying to figure out what to say when people ask me what it is :). My husband looked at it and said “It’s an alien, no wonder nobody’s found the treasure” lol 🙂

  14. Very nice that you shared your interaction with Forrest…great pics. Forrest seems very apt to stir the pot just for kicks. I bet he knew exactly what he was saying even if he didn’t expect that you would share it on the blogs. I think I would have been compelled to ask a question or two just to see what his response would be…Thanks for sharing.

  15. Sure wish I could of been there to go on the tour with you and mr. forrest.looks so beautiful in there.what a cozy place to of lived st one time.I’ve know for awhile, reverse,backwards,a time lost,the past,gone forever.but I just can’t get parallel with it.I see skippy soul lost(gone),june soul( gone) and that leaves mr. forrest in the middle.only one left from his past. one fenn.the next generation is next,shiloh,etc.his core the circle is lost.him in the middle.his values,family,friends,tears from weeping,look mr. forrest in the eyes face to face. he is still young in his mind,but the body tells different in the mirror.we are a lost people,time is passing us by ,if we do not get out and enjoy what god has given to us in nature.then it will be too late.as when we get older,we don’t venture out too far anymore.sometimes our body won’t let us .you go and say ,oh, this is such a beautiful place,i want to come again someday. but you are already there, you have arrived to your destination.see your treasure.you ponder back to that time,wow,it was great.times always changing, sometimes you can’t go back home again,except in our mind.so if I go out and be quite and listen,everything becomes real to you finally,you can refect back to a time or enjoy the present,now,at this moment,here,there,anywhere. that’s my solve to the poem.

    • That’s beautiful, virginiadiane.
      I agree about his eyes. You can see he is still the same as his school photo in TTOTC. A lad with thoughts and ambitions greater than what was going on around him at the time…unaware where he was headed, but in a sure hurry to get there. And he’s still got that same age. At least IMO

  16. I don’t have the patience to check every single one but I’m glad to do 1-20 if 6 other ppl want to check 20 each also…not that it really aters but I randomly wonder if this one isn’t in a scrapbook just not the one we think of immediately.

    Also, this one WAS from the recent scrapbook also only not at the top…it was mentioned by either 23 or Cynthia in the comments section I think…so it is, technically, one from the scrapbook.

    Just possibilities if ppl wonder.

  17. Sacha, Very nice account of a lovely afternoon…your pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing. Forrest also took us through a door marked “Private”…it was the “shipping” room. There was a fellow eating lunch or taking a break there, and seemed quite surprised that Forrest walked in followed by 3 lovely young women (LOL!) I didn’t hear what Forrest was saying to us… I was in awe of a 17 inch bronze of Eric Sloane sitting on the “SOLD” shelf waiting patiently to be shipped to some lucky new owner. I hesitated a moment before touching Eric’s bronze head…it didn’t seem like ff was paying attention to me, so I boldly patted and rubbed Eric’s bronze hair…it was cold to the touch because my hands were warm (HINT: the word “warm” is relative, IMO!) I knew this was the closest I’d ever get to Eric…at least in this lifetime. There were many large life-size sculptures also sculpted by Glenna Goodacre throughout the gardens…I picked one out just in case I find the treasure chest someday…It lists at $80,000.

    Fellow New Mexico treasure hunters, these lovely pictures were taken less than 48 hours ago…It is currently snowing large flakes in the Albuquerque metro area…I believe Santa Fe is to get an accumulation of snow. This info is for anyone out of state who might be considering a search here in NM in the near future.

    • Cynthia,

      I am so glad you decided to share that part of the story. I really wanted to, but that part wasn’t mine to tell. Besides, I didn’t want to squeal on you for touching stuff.

      But, yes! Forrest did burst into a door, and just walk right in, even though it was marked private. I definitely felt a little guilty, but felt very lucky to see the bronze of Eric. It even had a little painting on the bottom, signed by him. I secretly snuck a peek at the price tag. I don’t think I will see that much money all together in my lifetime.

      Great share Cynthia!

    • Good insider report Cynthia. Don’t tell anyone but you’re my favorite Fenn friend because I can tell your a good egg and have no malice in your heart. Hope to meet you someday in the future!

    • I was up near where the chest is hidden on Sunday. The snow varied from 1 to 3 feet deep there. There were foot prints everywhere. This was 15 miles from the closest paved road which barely qualifies as “paved.”

  18. It was a nice visit. I learned about the event late and rushed to get there by 3 pm. So, I missed the personalized tour 🙁 This was the first time I saw Forrest in person. I will need to return to get a better look around because I concentrated on the people there and enjoyed his conversation. I think he likes to play games and keep people guessing and wondering. Like a favorite song, I would like to hit auto replay on the event. May we meet again. Was truly a great pleasure. Also, enjoyed meeting other searchers – all very interesting, indeed. Cynthia, we are snow covered up North. I believe the search season is closed up here – the snow and Madam Nature seem to declare rest. Everything appears ‘frozen in time.’

  19. Very astute observers you are. The Moyer may be a reproduction of some sort that one may enjoy just the same as paying a higher amount for a similar painting. Ring a bell?

  20. Great visual of this visit. A bathroom that looked like a blacksmith shop, this sounds amazing! And Mr. Fenn found most items himself with a metal detector, very nice finds sir. I can’t wait to be in Santa Fe and see these finds first hand, def a place I will visit. Mr. Fenn I do not recall any accounts of you swinging the detector. To fill a room with historical items display worthy is so impressive. I hunt as often as possible and can’t imagine the work, patience and hours put forth to amass such fine metal artifacts. I will hunt an old farm (first hunt) in the morning and will honor your tenacity while I dig. You rock Forrest!

  21. Yes I think its a hint, Without looking at the 2 paintings…. (because the images may not matter) It remindes me of the Bells toll and Catcher in the rye story in the book, again , an obvious un truth … for a purpose.

    • hi Sasha, hunch here. well, this aint the first time FF has cut up a photo. usually the bottom part too. but i thought he told us to look down. how can we look down when that part is gone. i dont get it. subtle hint? fooey.

  22. A good catch, IMO, of another of Forrest’s ‘mistakes.’ Thank you for posting your thoughts and the story.

    What I find of interest in this painting and the one in SB147 is they’re both profiles and facing opposite directions (as noted). Put them face to face/eye to eye, and what do you have? Perhaps they signify the alpha and omega/beginning and end… I don’t know. I’m finding I can’t Look, See, or think anything like Forrest, and I can guess only a small fraction as well as everyone else. I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day for guesses, or maybe glasses.
    An early Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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