After the Search on Thursday…


January 21st, 2016

KOB-TV in Albuquerque had a news story on their 6PM newscast. The link is below.

Short brief by Forrest

We searched 4 hours with Doug Christian flying the helicopter. He is the best and was able to put us in positions that gave us great search vantage points. We flew up and down Rio Grande, searching the water, and 300 feet either side. The water is low and conditions were ideal, no wind, no ice, and air temp at 42 degrees. We flew up two canyons for maybe 6 miles, until they got so narrow we couldn’t get through. We were met with nothing but disappointment. Tom Cremeens, the medic who first discovered the boat, was with us and we put him out on a sand bar for an hour while we continued up and down the river to Cochiti lake and back. Tom had a hunch. Cynthia Meachum and Roger Craddock were in the back looking. We had 8 eyes searching. I wish I had good news to report, but I don’t. My 85 year-old bones are ready for a beer, while we think about tomorrow. (more from Forrest below)


Short Brief by Sacha

I did not go on the helicopter adventure today, but rather I worked behind the scenes.

I had dinner with Cynthia and Katya this evening.  Katya is pooling her vast resources to find people with both ATVs and high end drones, to see if they can cover the rest of the east side of the river, down from where Randy’s raft was found.  She has already had some people respond, and she is arranging to take a crew out, with Cynthia, this weekend – pending good weather.

So far, searchers have searched the site where Randy’s car was found, visually inspected the contents of the car, searched the site where his raft was found, along the river banks south of the raft location all the way to the lake, the river and the banks all the way from the car to the raft, the north side of Frijoles Canyon, the canyon walls between the raft and the lake, and part of the trail and mesa on the east side above Randy’s raft.

We have exhausted all of our easily accessible areas, and we are now forced to focus on the more remote possibilities.  All of these possibilities require access to restricted areas, or areas impassible by any kind of vehicle.

We did receive a bit of good news, by accident.  At dinner, Katya called a connection in Cochiti Pueblo, and was setting up a meeting tomorrow , to ask for permission to access gated areas for drone searching.  During her call, she discovered that they had granted the NM SAR permission to search the area TODAY!  We were so happy to hear they were on the case, once again.  I don’t know the details of the search, but knowing that it happened made me feel better.

Someone in the TTOTC community has benevolently decided to cover the cost of high resolution aerial imagery.  Not only will this happen, but it is going to happen tomorrow morning, beginning at 7:30 am.  I have been in contact with the pilot, who tells me that he will be able to cover quite a bit of ground, but since this service is not free, we had to carefully decide where to have him go.

After much deliberation, we have decided to focus our efforts on the west side of the Rio Grande, from south of Frijoles Canyon all the way to the lake, and hopefully cover up to 2 miles from the river bank.  This area is the most remote, and most difficult to access.  Essentially, it requires camping, so this is the hardest place to get to, and where he will do the most good.

I should have access to the images TOMORROW, and I will give them to all of you.  You said you wanted to help, and if this actually happens tomorrow, you will get your chance.

Each of you will need to scour images and look for clues.  If it is larger than a helmet, you should be able to see it.  This is your opportunity to pitch in, no matter how far you live.

Once I have the video, I will give it to Dal, and he will put it somewhere so that all of you can look at it.

Finally, I have to leave town, but only for a couple of days.  I will be back on Sunday, and Cynthia will run things on the ground.  I will continue to work behind the scenes, and will be waiting on reports from anyone who finds any clues.

I wish you all luck in your search.  May your years of research experience serve you well.




Full Briefing by Forrest

The short hours made a long day for me. We met at the airport at 11:30, Cynthia, Roger, Erin (the flight nurse who found Leo), and her husband, who is a tall, good looking fireman. And Tom Cremeens, the medic who was in the Helicopter with Erin. (He is also a M/Sgt in the AF Reserve). Leo, the star of the day, was not short of cuddles. He was thin, and had a raw paw from his ordeal. The banks of the Rio Grande are cluttered with large boulders and cinders of basalt (volcanic lava) that left their mark on Leo, but not bad.

The photos were all taken by Cynthia.




Shortly after noon the helicopter arrived from Double Eagle airport and we ran through a quick briefing and planned for our four hours of flying time that was about to come. We were jabbering and full of optimism. The pilot (Doug Christian) loaded Tom and I in the chopper and we flew the ten minutes to the river. We searched up and down for about 30 minutes, then landed on a lonely sandbar and let Tom out. He wanted to search an area where Randy might have seen the blaze.


While Tom was thrashing through the rocks and thick brush, Doug and I went back to the airport and picked up Cynthia and Roger. We started looking just above Buckman Road where Randy’s car was parked, and slowly worked our way down river, searching and circling. Fifty feet above the water and cruising at 30 mph, large numbers of ducks and geese passed under us flying at 40 mph, and outran our chopper. Bald eagles were ever present. Nothing else.

The river was a beautifully faded green color, with the bottom showing most of the way. No ice or turbulence to worry about, and wind temperature at 42 degrees. It was an ideal searching situation. At first we flew down the river, looking 300’ on either side. We saw nothing but inhospitable brush and rocks. Side swamp-looking lagoons 200’ wide made periodic appearances. Humans cannot walk across those things. We saw no footprints anywhere, and no buzzards. The unclimbable mountains kissed the water in most places, and where they didn’t, salt cedar trees were so thick that no animals could struggle passage.


Paramount in my mind was the thought that man is not supposed to get out of a boat from Buckman Road to Cochiti Lake, where the river widened as the lake backed up into the river.



After burning 2 hours of sunshine we returned Cynthia and Roger to the Santa Fe airport and took on fuel. Then Doug and I returned to the sand bar and picked up Tom. What he thought might have been the blaze, wasn’t, so we flew upstream a couple of miles to Randy’s boat and landed on another sand bar. To my surprise the boat was only about 100’ from the river. To get to the boat Tom and I waded through several places where water was running over sticky muck. It was so sticky that my left boot evacuated my foot and quickly filled with water. Tom and I were wet, and I told myself that Randy was probably smarter than we were.

The boat had a tear in the bottom so water had to flow in. Randy’s feet and pants were wet. One paddle had a broken handle, but no matter, because the boat had no oar locks, which meant Randy was paddling with one oar and not rowing with two. No sign of a warming fire anyplace.

Everything I saw made me uncomfortable. There was no way Randy could take his boat back to his car. There was no way Randy could climb to the mesas on top. If he had maps on his person they had to be almost useless. Canyons that dumped into the river were every half mile on both sides, and from the river one could not tell which was which. We flew up three of the larger canyons on the west side of the river and we didn’t know which ones we were in. They are easy to identify on a map, and from the air, but from the river it’s highly unlikely, especially for someone who had never been there before.



After 4 hours of searching, and circling, and backtracking, and straining, Tom and I looked at each other in bewilderment. Doug saw our expressions and slowly pulled up on the collective pitch, and I saw the vertical speed rise to 500 feet per minute climb. After several minutes we were out of the Rio Grande canyon and looking at Cochiti Lake, a few miles distant. We were going home.


89 thoughts on “After the Search on Thursday…

  1. Doing all you can do gals, guys & dogs. My hats off to you!
    I have one thought that makes sense. If it were possible to bring Leo back to the site on the east side like many have commented. Then raft him across the Rio at the bottom of Frijoles on the west side & see his reactions if he goes back to the river, it would prove Dal’s theory that Randy went in the river & never came out. If Leo attempts to go up the Frijoles canyon then it would be obvious that’s where Randy went.
    Just a thought…..

  2. I would like to suggest that someone – preferably one of Randy’s family members – get in touch with The San Ildefonso Pueblo. They are having their annual feast day on Jan. 23rd. They welcome outsiders particularly on this upcoming day. They know this area better than anyone. I do not mean any disrespect, nor do I desire to start a feud, however, it is my opinion that it be someone other than Forrest that approaches them and that the subject of “The Chase” be downplayed or avoided entirely. After all, this is not about that. It is about a brother, father, husband, son…
    — a FAMILY member being lost near their home. If it were my family member, I would ask the 2 tribes of the area for help.
    Most sincere and heartfelt prayers for Randy and his family at this difficult time.

  3. Great effort by all. A bad situation and especially hard on all the people looking for Randy. My prayers to Randy’s family and for all the searchers who are living this bad dream. God love you all.

  4. Mr Forrest, Please get some rest and try to relax . I think we could all use a good stiff drink with a beer chaser. You can only do so much in a day. My prayers are with Randy and the whole Chase family. We will all stick together and help one another as we can. Many of us out of state family wish we were there and could help with the search. Stay strong and know we are all with you in Spirit.
    Much love my Brothers and Sisters who are there with Boots on the ground, and to all who at home on their computers Praying. We are as One..

  5. Sorry this is long. I posted this on another thread here but I want the searchers to read this before tomorrow.

    Monday I sent my thoughts to one of the searchers for the Tuesday search. Tuesday I posted in a chasechat thread those thoughts. Many of you have reiterated some of what I said. Given the information that has come to light the last couple of days, I am submitting my revised thoughts. The area I believe Randy to be in… has not changed much. I only am making the search are a little larger and explaning why I think he is there.

    Randy started out on the 5th. He intended for it to be a day trip and did not take overnight supplies. He traveled light so as to pack out the chest should he find it. He made it to Frijoles but it took much longer than expected. He went up to the lower falls with Leo and couldn’t go any further. He initially intended to go above the upper falls. He took the Rio Grande way to avoid NP authorities. By the time he got back to the Rio Grande, clouds had rolled in and the temperature was dropping.

    Randy and Leo went across the Rio Grande to the east side as Randy had planned to leave the disposable raft and exit by way of the east side of the river. He was already familiar with the east side of the river above the gorge cliffs. He knew there was a trail up the gorge cliffs from his topo map and that there were old FS roads up there. It took longer than expected to locate the trail and get above the gorge. Now it was getting dark and he was in the early stages of hypothermia. He knew it would be a long dark slog out (the moon was entering its “New” phase) but he knew the roads and maybe he could bivouac for the night and hike out in the morning. I believe he made it above the gorge, found a bivouac place, and made a brush shelter. That night the weather changed. It was cold and started to rain and/or snow. I feel he succumbed to hypothermia in the early AM on the 6th.

    For some reason, I don’t think he had his wet suit with him. Maybe it was too heavy and he abandoned it. On the other hand he could have had it with him. I also think he didn’t take any fire starters with him for whatever reason. Pure conjecture, mind you, but it explains why he may have succumbed to hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, you don’t make good or rational decisions and panic starts to set in as well. Leo was with him to the end. He would never leave the dog behind, IMO. Once he passed, Leo would have only stayed near him for a day or three. Then Leo would have gone back the way he came (looking for food?) as it was the only route familiar to him and he would still be able to find his own scent tracks. Leo may have gone back and forth several times during the warm daylight hours. This is why I think that Randy is not more than a mile or so from the raft. Leo would not have backtracked too far without the safety of Randy.

    Now, don’t ding me for my statements about the weather. I don’t know what the weather was like in that area of NM. I live in northern AZ and usually the weather we get here, goes there 6 to 24 hrs after it hits us. We were cloudy at 7am and started getting rain/snow mixed by noon on the 5th. It was a moderate moving storm but was fairly large. The next day (6th) schools were closed and we were getting heavy snow. We had about 15 inches by noon when it eased up. Three more fast and smaller storms hit each day following that initial one.

    These are the coordinates that I think Randy is near.
    35°44’46.11″N, 106°14’59.88″W
    Draw a 1/2 mile circle around that.

    Generally you could draw a straight 1 mile line from the raft to the NE. Draw another one from the raft to the SE. He is likely in-between those lines. It will take a good ground search and/or low helicopter or drone searching of that area. If he hunkered down for a bivouac it would likely be near some rocks/overhang that he could put brush/branches over. I think he was trying to get out of the rain/snow.

    If you have good weather and you can stop for 10 or 15 minutes while searching to quietly observe the area, look for ravens hanging out. If in a low flying chopper or using a low drone, look for ravens taking off from the ground. They are a great indicator.

    All of this is just my thoughts and could be considered conjecture if you wish to think of it like that. It’s a very strong feeling I have had since I first read about this on Sunday (?).

    Good luck folks. Stay safe…. And thank you for your efforts. I wish I could be there for BTOG (but I don’t move as fast as I used to) or spot from the chopper.

    P.S. I just saw the map on ChaseChat and it supports what I have been thinking since Monday.

    • Tomorrow’s search plans will concentrate in the area on top the mesa above his raft site. We will drive as far as the mud allows, and then walk as far as we can towards the X’s on Randy’s map. The drones will be used to cover the distances we can’t walk. I sent the plans to Dal just recently…hoping he will be able to post them. I believe the one X is where he was standing when he took the selfie in Dec. Frijoles Canyon is in the background. As you mentioned, he was familiar with the service roads on top and maybe was trying to get back to his car when the bad weather hit. We’ll give it our best shot again tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all your support and kind words. cynthia PS. The helicopter ride was frigging fantastic. Now I know what to buy if I ever find Fenn’s chest!

    • I believe your conjecture is pretty good Timberwolf. It all seems likely enough. But I don’t believe Randy will be found on top the mesa. His final destination was probably along the canyon wall. Probably about 70% to 80% up from the river’s level.

  6. There are no adequate words to fill the hole in everyone’s heart or make things right.

    My sincere appreciation Forrest and everyone giving their resources and best efforts. Continued prayers for all at a very difficult time.

  7. It’s way to “COLD” to search in the winter.
    I’m proud yall had a safe day. Forrest it’s ok if u want a beer. Cheers for tomorrow. 🙂

    The search team has tried and yall have done your best. I’m so sorry this has happened to a searcher.

  8. I think Leo should be taken to the area. He is the only witness. He may lead the search team to where they were. Dogs are smart that way.

  9. Glad to hear all are back from the search today safe and sound. Forrest enjoy the beer tonight you deserve it. I hope that tomorrow brings more success. I wish I could be there with you all in the search, what an incredible group of people you all are doing what you are doing for Randy and his family. I do not blog much, but have been reading most everything for a couple of years now. I have never met any of you in person, but feel as if I know you all. To everyone involved have a great nights sleep and keep us posted on your efforts tomorrow.

    Fred Y.

  10. As all treasure seekers know, Forrest has REPEATEDLY warned us to refrain from hunting for the treasure this time of year and to wait until spring. We need to respect his wishes, besides it’s just common sense.

    To the search team and Forrest: You have all been so generous with your time and effort. God Bless you all.

  11. Thanks so much for Forrest’s and all the searchers’ dedication to this search.

    I’m very much with Timberwolf, that Randy was on his way out (or searching the east area) late in the day when he succumbed to hypothermia or a fall. (Could have been a mountain lion attack, but doubtful, given Leo surviving unhurt.)

    Nearly all the searching from the air has concentrated on the river. It seems to me so much more likely that he was not down by the river when he disappeared. The fact that Leo returned to the raft is not necessarily evidence of Randy having disappeared under water, but simply that a starving, confused dog would eventually follow his own and his master’s scent back to the raft.

    If it’s possible to do so tomorrow, please look for more evidence of his route away from the raft. Did the footprint give a potential travel direction?

    Good luck everyone.

    • I don’t believe the reason he’s missing is due to hypothermia(not that he didn’t get it from being stuck somewhere)…because if he was by the raft and Leo, he would have used the raft as a windbreaker. Also, the fact that he hasn’t been seen seems to be that he fell into a tight spot that isn’t well seen and there maybe snow that’s drifted over him in a small space.

      I would concentrate on 30 minute walk from the raft…especially in the area that Eugene saw the footprints.

  12. Such a tragedy…may it not be in vain.

    There are lessons here: enjoy each day, tell family and friends you love them, love them enough to search with 3-4 partner(s), If one gets hurt, you need 1 to remain with injured and others to go for help. Don’t search remote wilderness alone or in the winter.

    I’m reminded of Forrest’s crash into the jungle. He loved his wife and daughters enough to wait for assistance rather than seeing if he was manly enough to survive hiking out. He didn’t think it was fair to his family.

  13. My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved searching.
    F considers the area dangerous, so treasure NOT in an area like this.
    Be safe tomorrow.
    Waiting for pics to search.

  14. Another suggestion…
    Is there a Civil Air Patrol unit in SF? They specialize in search and rescue, sponsor their selves and work with soul and spirit relentlessly. Contact the VFW, the CAP units usually use their locations for meetings. These are some serious Air Force Auxiliary units that won’t quit.

    • They probably were deployed over the past weekend long search done by the State Search and Rescue and their many volunteers.

  15. I agree with Timberwolf’s assessment of the situation posted above…It makes total sense that Randy was on his way out attempting a route back to Buckman…The marked maps mean he had done some scouting beforehand and had an idea as to how to get back to his car, especially the map with the X’s and the dashed line to a trailhead…He knew where to head out..This by the photos he had taken from the East side of the gorge…Also he would not have simply abandoned Leo to come back for him later…The dog would have been with him…

    The dog knows where he is, of this I’m sure…The fact that he was found by the raft indicates he returned to the one spot he knew to wait and probably his only source for water…As Timberwolf said, it is possible Leo went back and forth for a few days from the raft to Randy’s location to check on his Dad also being driven by hunger…As close as the two apparently were, neither would abandon the other totally unless some misfortune befell one of them…Few owners of pets, especially dogs, would disagree with this I’m sure…They become like children and family…It makes sense to me that Leo knows where he is…And that he is not that far away…

    Any attempt to climb out of the gorge late in the day would have been ended with approaching nightfall and too much darkness to continue…Holing up somewhere to try and wait out the night was the only alternative…He would necessarily be in need of shelter from the elements and under a rock overhang would be the easiest to find late in the day when temperature and darkness may have limited his ability to construct a shelter…He may have succumbed to hypothermia if he couldn’t get a fire going to ward off the cold…Or he could have met with accident trying to negotiate the rocks…I pray neither is the case of course…

    Searching the East side as suggested and within a half mile to one mile of the raft’s location is the best scenario I believe…Taking Leo back out there and asking him to “find your Dad”, “where’s Randy?” may at least give a direction to go look…Probably will never be done, though trying every possible avenue is the same as giving up hope altogether as far as I’m concerned…Of course Leo should be afforded all possible care, but the pup KNOWS!…

    I wish I could assist in the search myself, just not close enough to be of use…Hoping the best outcome for Randy, and keeping little Leo and Randy’s family in our prayers…Sam and Teresa, TN…

    • Forgot to add, God bless and keep all those who have sacrificed so much to help in the search for Randy…I would want to count myself as one of this type of family…The Good Lord knows the hearts and minds of those who care…May he be with us all in our time of need and keep Randy with us until we can find him…Amen…

    • I agree that he’s on the East side after hearing there were footprints on both sides of the river which were Leo’s. So Randy took him everywhere. So he’s on Leo’s side. I believe as alchemist pointed out the footprints look like he was wearing waders, and Eugene told me his shoes were left in the car. I believe by mistake. His car was super muddy which meant he tried to drive there and couldn’t, so at the last minute he bought a raft to try and get to his spot with that. Julie on Chasechat heard what could have been a whistle that morning and Randy’s daughter said she bought him one and he would bring it with. Erin said it took Leo 30 minutes to come to her….but was that from seeing him or he was 30 minutes away? Leo needs to go out there with foot protection. I believe he slipped because he made the mistake to leave his shoes behind. He’ll be found within a 30 minute walk from the raft in a crevice type place where he couldn’t get back up.

      Thank you Eugene for taking those photos and sharing them with the community. He’s probably near where Eugene and John documented they saw the footprints. I hope others can take an ATV or horses out to that area.

      • Hey Stephanie, I just want to say thanks for all the info you have shared. You have been able to give us searchers more details and photos when times were quite, and that has been very helpful. For all you have done here and continue to do I would be happy if your ever back down here in Tampabay Florida area to meet with you again maybe at “Rumba’s” ,where we all met before, and buy you a drink of your choice. You deserve that and more thanks again.
        P.S that goes for all the ones who has put and extra effort is this search, come on down. Bur

  16. I can’t begin to imagine the sadness Randy’s family must be feeling, only to be compounded by distance must be unbearable. The genuine kindness and concern of all must surely give a renewed belief in the goodness of mankind.

  17. Thank you Forrest and Everyone for giving Randy every chance possible. Its been amazing to see such an effort to bring him home. No searcher left behind.

  18. Has Randy’s family come to help with the search? Friends and family are needed to show support for all who are working so hard. Have they come to the area to get a feel for where he could of went? I have not heard if they are helping or not.

    • “Has Randy’s family come to help with the search?”
      An excellent question.

      “Friends and family are needed to show support for all who are working so hard.
      I agree absolutely.

      • They live in Florida. I’ve been speaking to Linda who is an amazing lady. Randy was her ex husband. They lived in New York and then moved to Florida. Randy moved out West 2 years ago just to search. Linda and Randy kept a friendship for their girls. They have 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters. Linda just lost her current husband of 12 years(she was also married to Randy for 12 years, but has known him for 32) to a 7 year battle with cancer this summer where she was his caregiver(Randy was also a cargiver for his father and mother). She runs a cancer support group that she still runs even after his passing and she is still grieving over that loss.

        Linda does not know how to search, so there really would be no reason for her to go to the search area. She’s on the phone with everyone and anyone trying to get answers and make things happen along with the help of her girls. I was talking to her last night trying to help her get maps of his locations and she was exhausted, but her mind is looping as to what might help. There is a photo she had me upload that shows some campers that were photographed via helicopter that were camping in the area during the time Randy went missing. She would like to know if anyone might know them so that she might be able to find out if they saw him or anything else.

        • Hi Steph… can you come up with a way to transfer this photo from the ‘copter that might preserve its resolution better?
          Thank You

        • Stephanie – can you tell me where this photo came from? Who toke it? Taking a cell phone photo of a computer screen… well perhaps the original might be located and downloaded/exported to preserve the resolution so one can see the faces? Thank in advance…

  19. Long story short: I learned about the treasure a few months ago and found it interesting. I came to Santa Fe on a random road trip a few days ago and remembered why I was drawn here and had a laugh. Then I heard the news…

    I am a little like Randy in that I don’t go anywhere without my dog (June). She’s here now and all I can think is what everyone seems to be saying, “GET LEO OUT THERE.”

    I’m sure information is limited but there have been so many people reiterating this same sentiment. Any way we get an update as to why this has not happened? Understandably, the family must be inundated, but there has to be someone on the search team who can at least try this method. (Obviously I’ll be the 1st to say I’d take Leo out there myself if needed/wanted/allowed).

    Blog team & searchers: you’re doing a fantastic job and you have such big hearts, please get some sleep.

    Mr. F: I hope your beer was cold and your bones get some relief. Guilt is a filthy mistress you never wanted. Rest easy, Sir.

  20. I would like to make a quick comment regarding the good suggestions about taking Leo back out to the raft area. This area is really inaccessible for most of us. The only two ways to get to the raft area is by helicopter or rafting down the Rio Grande. The roads are so muddy we can’t get but within a few miles of the raft area, and then you are 1000 feet up above where Randy’s raft was found. Gene with the ATV I believe was able to access the area above the raft but walking/hiking in hasn’t been a viable option yet. Tomorrow, we are going to try to use the roads (and I use that term loosely because they barely are roads) along the south side of Montoso Peak. Maybe we can get closer than the route we tried a few days ago. cynthia

  21. Leo gives us a general area for searching. He was found near the raft. Most likely he did not swim the reo to get back to it. So I question the thought Randy may have waded back into the Reo. If he did it would have been along the bank in shallow water seeing he was wearing waders. I wonder if Leo was taken back into the area would he pick up his own scent and possibly lead searchers back to Randy’s location??

    Sacha, I look forward to seeing a better map. Google maps are a little to dated to be of much help. I will look for possible rock shelters. Ya know the small cubby holes just big enough for a man to fit into between 2 or more rocks.

    I wish I could do more, feeling kinda useless and helpless atm.
    God bless you all.

    Many thanks to the anonymous donor for the maps.
    Forrest you amaze me. 85 and going strong. I salute you sir. o7

  22. Im going to head up there again tomorrow to help in the search this time ill be bring my four wheeler so we can get in there closer. But i need to get where the meeting spot is for tomorrow. When it comes to getting the drons and there operators in closer to where we are going to search i can gey them in there with a small trailer along with riding on my four wheeler. If i dont hear from any one where to meet ill first go to where we met on tuesday around 8am first and wait for a few mins. Then go to the second exit north of that exit and start going in from there. I hope to hear from someone soon.

  23. I enjoy reading the updates. I also feel very helpless at the moment. I’m looking forward to seeing the high res imagery. Thank you fellow searcher for doing that…whoever you are. I agree with the sentiment about searchers being a large family. May God guide us to find Randy.

  24. Thank you Mr. Fenn, Sacha, and Cynthia for the effort you are placing into the search for Randy and keeping us informed. Thank you Dal and Goofy for maintaining this web site and allowing the exchange of information that may prove valuable in locating Randy. This site and all who post are proving that even with the miles that separate us, we are group who care about each other when the chips are down.

  25. After reading Forrest’s account, I am simply amazed that the raft is still there. The car was still there several days later. The raft is still there a week later. I mean… is that normal?

  26. What have you got to lose by taking Leo back there? I’ve had dogs all my life and I’ve learned to never underestimate them. When they have something important to communicate to humans, they will find a way. We simply need to be patient and pay attention.

  27. Thank you Forrest for really explaining what you saw and your interpretation of it so we can try to help figure out what happened and how so he might be found. Appreciate that you’re doing so much to help his family.

    Eugene/Gey from ChaseChat when he was out there took lots of photos. One was of a foot print and a dog print. I just got an email where someone(alchemist on chasechat) said the footprint looks like the person was wearing waders, because there is no tread. So that is probably WHY he could have slipped…his shoes were left in the car(Eugene told me he saw them in the car) and he probably HAD to walk in them.

    Here is the photo we’re talking about that look like they could be his.

    Here is the map that shows where those prints were photographed.

    I think Julie did hear him whistle after he got stuck in a situation he fell into. Not sure why no one has talked to her. I emailed SAR about her yesterday.

    So I think that’s it…he forgot his shoes, and had to hike in his waders which made him slip.

    Has anyone seen footprints WITHOUT Leos? I don’t think he walked back….I think he slipped and could be under a drift of snow at the base of a boulder. I think he was in a crevice type place that he was unable to climb out of.

    Interesting they found tracks of Leos in Frijoles? So he took Leo no matter where he went…so then it should be on the East side…right? He never left Leo to search no matter which side.

    I was also emailed that one of his legs could have been hurt as one of the impressions was deeper then the other.

    I really believe Leo needs his foot protected and to be brought out there to show where Randy is. He never left his side. Was Leo with the raft or did it take him 30 minutes to come out because he wasn’t at the raft and had to get there?

    • At this point, following footprints might not be the best course of action. Given State Search and Rescue probably had a few dozen of their volunteers out last weekend with Search dogs. Do a search for the different NMSAR groups in the area. They easily have over one hundred people at their disposal. They probably already looked for tracks before they added a ton more.

    • For what its worth…in my opinion…the picture of the track is very old. maybe from his previous trip. The mud appears to be dry, with cracks…sun baked.
      disclaimer.. pictures can be deceiving, go with the thoughts of the person who took the picture.

  28. To Cynthia
    Demoman Here

    Cynthia, I can ‘t stand it. I want to be there. I am at my home in Michigan. Yesterday I looked at some pictures from the book signing with Forrest last September and I took a picture of Randy and Leo at the after party. I sat briefly with Randy. He was a nice fellow Treasure Hunter just like you.
    Randy obviously had more resolve and courage than I thought considering where he went at this time of year. He reminds me of my own resolve having done 12 trips into the wilds of Montana and also many times during the worst time of the winter season. As far as Treasure Hunting goes, I wait for better conditions. However,

    Honestly I am ready to hop on a plane and gear up for boots on the ground. I am familiar with this type of thing. I can be there by tomorrow. Time is of the essence. I am so very proud of you. If I can be of service Tell me the word and I will be on a plane. Please e-mail me at My cell phone is


  29. Thank you for the full briefing, Mr. Fenn. My gosh, I am nearly in a lost for words. The description you’ve given for the areas…WOW! My mind imagines the possibilities to where Randy might be, but now I’m not sure. I now ask myself if he could have been able to climb up, as I thought he may have. He must have tried. This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

    • Am I correct the helicopter was to be used for Thursday’s search (one day)? I would believe this to be true because of today’s activities with drones, etc., but I’m not positive. Does anyone have this information?

      • I heard there’s another helicopter today capturing high definition images/video of the area and river south of where Leo and the raft were found. Those images are supposed to be made available to everyone at some point.

  30. Question: i read Forrest’s comment tbat Leo had a raw paw. Which paw? Why do I ask? Because Leo might have been digging if it was a front paw. I have a Boston Terrier and a Chihuahua when they find something, they will agressively dig with front paws. Just wondering….

  31. Forrest

    You did what you could, this is a very sad and unfortunate situation. Maybe he’s under a bush somewhere that was overlooked (always that possibility) it might be a good idea to have a spotter go out over the next week (look for vultures) I hate to say it. Thanks for the write up, I thoroughly enjoyed your pics. Good day!

  32. Subbing quite late to recent posts. Family issues have diverted my attention last 48 hours. Sorry if this and my other posts have been tardy/outdated/old. Playing catch-up as best I can.

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