In a Well…



Let me begin with a few disclaimers.   This is long.  Everything in this post is my opinion.   I reference several quotations from the books and Forrest himself, but I don’t have the specific references to them all and they may not be exact.  I hope I have referenced them correctly. I have not done a BOTG search at the location of this solve.  I am sharing this publicly because like many of you, I find ‘the chase’ to be consuming my life, so I’m getting this off my treasure chest if you will.  If someone does go and find the treasure and this has been helpful, I’d hope you would share a few nuggets…

As a bit of context, I grew up in the Midwest and my roots there are important to my solve.   I grew up participating with my parents and later my family in puzzle “road rallies” almost every Saturday night in the fall and spring.   These “puzzle” or sometimes “gumball” rallies are distinctly Midwest events which are essentially treasure hunts / scavenger hunts on wheels.  See   as a reference.   The basic idea is you are in a car with a group of people and competing with dozens of other groups in their cars.  At a starting location you are each given a “clue”. Solving that clue leads to a new destination.   At that destination you do something to prove you got there correctly and then get instructions for the next clue and so on.   A typical rally covers 10 clues and about 25-40 miles and always ends at a bar/restaurant and prizes are awarded, etc.    The “winner” gets a cash prize and to plan the next rally.   Coming in second is often considered to be ‘winning’ because planning these takes a lot of effort.    I’ve participated in hundreds and planned more than a dozen.   They are sometimes fundraisers for church organizations, etc.    Unfortunately, where I live currently this is just not an activity that anyone understands.  I miss them.    Forrest, thank you for giving me a new type of road rally.

So when I first heard about TTOC a few years ago I immediately thought of it in this context. It is very typical for a road rally clue to be a poem or a narrative that has in it embedded instructions/hints as to the destination.   Common puzzles would be the first letter of every word would spell out a destination, or perhaps the nth letter (matching the number of the clue).   Words that were misspelled, words with double letters, words that matched army call signs like ‘WTF’, anagrams, etc.   Clues with codes, changing numbers to letters and such are very common.   In any case for better or for worse this is the context with which I approached the chase.    I believed that the poem and it’s “9 clues” will at a minimum reveal an EXACT starting location if not the final destination.  Otherwise might as well stay home and play canasta.   And despite all the commentary on poem purist’s vs needing the books as reference, I believe the poem solution would be self-contained.   I think Forrest has said as much repeatedly although the “girl in India” comment most recently may debunk some of that.   He has also said that a “two year old” or a “child” could solve it and I believe most importantly said that he felt like an “architect” while creating this poem.

All of this led me immediately to a “grid” type solve.   I felt like Forrest was a child playing with letter blocks stacked in 2 dimensions and the “clues” were contained within them.  The only thing that has given me any pause about this theory is the typo around “The answer(s) I already know”.      Forrest has said that it doesn’t matter and as it turns out it does not, but I think it is critical to understanding how to “solve” the poem as I will demonstrate.

So, I started with a grid with no punctuation (credit to Blake/SidNCharley who first posted a ‘grid’ solution)


I was drawn to the line “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down” and began to search for the blaze.  I know about all the discussion about not starting with the blaze, but I did it anyway. The most obvious blaze for me has always been the SUN.   It fits everything that has been said about it.

–           Can you see find the blaze during the day – “in a word, yes”

–           How far is the blaze from the hiding spot – “I didn’t measure”

–           A hint in TOTC in Lewis and Clark – “used some mountain man WISDOM, SUN rises in the east”

So off to find the blaze, IN THE POEM.

I looked quickly down.

If you look down a column in the poem you only find the letters, “S”, “U” and “N” together in 5 columns – 2, 6, 15, 18 and 22.    There are multiple ways to arrange the lines of the poem to spell out SUN.  Words like “AND” and “SO” provide lots of “S” and “N” and many, but not an unrealistic number of combinations.

I know the admonitions against anagramming, but while technically an anagram.  This is different.   It is in ‘tight focus’ with a ‘word that is key’, “SUN” and while providing many possibilities it is still limiting.   I would note btw, that it is only possible to spell “SUN” in 4 of the 5 columns at the same time and that leads to only a few possible solutions.

I just imagined Forrest playing with blocks over 15 years and arranging the lines to hide just the right message

Then I found this.


Blaze.  Look quickly down.  HALT HOW = ICE.    Ok.    Random?   I don’t think so.   Even the “S” in “waters” starts to spell another “SUN”.     I will note that just to the left of “HALT HOW” is the word ANTRE.    That threw me for a long while.   I’ll let the word definition experts dig into that and go down that rabbit hole…   I know Forrest has said no ‘red herrings’ but that would be a giant one.

This made me think I was on to something, but despite months of trying, I couldn’t get to a specific solve from the poem – despite lots of places that would fit with the basic clues and ANTRE.   Then two things happened.   Forrest said something like “to my uncertain knowledge I don’t believe anyone has considered one important possibility related to the winning solve” AND someone posted that ‘nigh’ also meant ‘left’.   Forrest has also said that he looked at it from every angle.   I’ve also always been bothered by the ‘typo’ of the “The answer(s) I already know” between TOTC and TFTW even though either doesn’t impact the available SUNs.

What if the poem draws nigh?


And now we search for the blaze.    Turns out you can only spell “SUN” in … you guessed it 5 columns – 6, 18, 21, 24 and 27 – and only 4 together at the same time.     Curious.     Well after much experimentation I found.


Nine precise words that lead directly to the treasure.   “IN A WELL AT RISING SUN, LOT TEN (FROM) END”.   Quickly down in just a few columns.  Glowing blaze.   Anagram, ok, but really?  5 columns across 9 lines out of 24 and 5 of the 9 from the last 6 lines of the poem, starting with “THE ANSWER”.

And a very nice “X” marks the spot  RISING ‘X’ TREASURE and “THE ANSWER(S) ‘I’” pointing right to it.

It also begins with “BEGIN” and ends with “END”.   “FROM” may be optional and that is something a BOTG search will need to establish.

I would note that there are MANY “RISING SUN” in the 4 states, but the only one that really makes sense is RISING SUN CAMPGROUND in Glacier National Park (halt how – ice) on St. Mary’s Lake.    Several of the lots have potable water wells including number 10 and number 10 from the end.   You can find all of this information online.

Why this makes sense….

“Warm Waters Halt” = Glacier / Ice

“Canyon Down” = From the summit of Going to the Sun Road  (seasonal search only open July-Sept) also “down” in the poem

“Gone alone in there” = Well (although you really don’t have to crawl in which is why it would still be safe for your kids the reservoir area of these water pump wells looks to be only a few feet deep)

“Hint of riches” = Lots of mining used to be in this area

“Home of Brown” = Brown Mountain or if you prefer a more proper name Brown and his home (it is directly below Pincher Creek, Alberta – Home of the cabin of Kootenai Brown – interesting guy)

“No place for the meek” = In a well and lots of bear activity in the area (in fact it was closed last summer because of bears and then a fire

“Drawing nigh” = Draw water from a well (I would note  the picture of the water pipe on the cover of TOTC and also there is a picture in TFTW of the Fenn cabin and its very similiar water well.

“Heavy Loads” = Water buckets

“Waters high” = Lifting water buckets

“Done it tired and now I’m weak”.   Ask anyone who has drawn water from a well

“No paddle up your creek”… columns down in the poem is my creek, but maybe Rose Creek trail at the end of the campground.

“Worth the cold” = Wet / glacier. It’s already snowing above 7000 feet there – in August. It’s cold.

“In the wood” = wood casing (and one other possibility that only BOTG would tell for sure)

“it’s wet”, indeed.

Searchers within 200 feet but went right past it.   The road is very close, more like 500 feet.

The first two clues  WWWH = “Glacier National Park”, CD =  “Rising Sun Road”

Why it may not make sense…

No human trails.   Hmmm.  This one is always challenging.   There are trails like Rose Creek at the end of the campground.  Is that ‘close proximity?’.

Above 5000 feet.  Well it’s at 4950’ish on Google Earth.   But only BOTG would tell exactly at the spot.

“Not associated with any structure”.   Is a water pump well as structure?  Debatable.

“Don’t mess with my poem”.    I don’t think I did, but others will disagree.

But ultimately, this is why I like it.  It is a safe place for Forrest’s bones to rest (away from animal activity) for a few thousand years – I was reminded of the practice of throwing bodies down the well watching  Hateful 8  last year.

And the clincher for me. “tarry scant and marvel gaze”.    Look this one up, but the view of sunrise from Rising Sun over St. Mary’s Lake and the ironically named “Wild Goose” Island is considered to be one of the most spectacular ‘marvel gaze’ in the country.   It’s depicted in photographs and art and I am certain Forrest would consider it very special as would anyone who has ever seen it.     Here is just one example.  What do you think?


Well.   That’s off my chest.   So, please let me know if you find the treasure chest in my well.



71 thoughts on “In a Well…

  1. Wow–Playing Scrabble with the poem?
    I will have to take a second look!
    I don’t think I can make it fit my solve.
    Thank you for a different approach though!

  2. Neat concept Stealth.
    It’s interesting that each shift of lines you’ve proposed allows for 4 of the 5 ‘suns’ possible to show – makes me think of f’s “four cards and a joker” line. Thanks for sharing!

  3. the idea of using the sun as the blaze led me to one of my solves. But I was not able to physically get therre due to my disability. I am referring to Sunset Rapids a the confluence of the rio Pueblo de Taos and the Rio Grande.
    Blaze = Sun
    Down = set
    Quickly = Rapids
    Sunset Rapids.

    It’s about 500 feett from where you would park your car. And less than 200 feet from the southeast side of the waters edge. I found some petroglyphs there.
    Disclaimer: an 80 year old man may not be able to cross there.

    I personally would rule out a well because it is a man made structure.

  4. Dang. My brother would have liked to see this. Too bad you had to wait till today to post it. He left at the tail end of the day yesterday, and was asking if the “sun” could be important to the poem. He thought the sun might be a clue to the blaze too. I wasn’t sure how to answer him, but I’m sure the answers are out there somewhere for him, and maybe they’re in your solve. I’ll have to forward this to him as soon as he gets home.

    It is an interesting take, but I am wondering if we can complicate something that may be far easier to see than we think. I guess we’ll have to wait till someone solves the dang thing. Thanks again.

    • Joe, I have also considered the sun in various ways in the spot where my solve is. I used Google Earth to change the time of day looking down the canyon and noticed that the ravines were lit to the bottom on one half at daybreak and to the other half at dusk in much of the canyon. This made me wonder how first peoples hunters might have used the canyon to their advantage at these times of day. It also seemed that thawing and freezing effects on erosion might have played a part over time to form the canyon bottoms precisely where the contours of the rims blocked the sun at these times. Some places seem prime to wait for game and there may be a blaze here that BOTG will fully show.

  5. Very nicely done! I worked in Many Glacier Hotel in 1998. Wild Goose Island is mysterious. GPI would definitely be a place I would consider special. Are there pinion pine in Glacier?

  6. Very interesting work there. It’s obvious you put a lot of thought into it. But Forrest’s resting place in a well? Out of all the beautiful places in the RM’s a well? I dunno…I think he might rather have his bones propped up against a tree facing the beautiful sunrise next to that beautiful lake, than be in a dark well. Just IMO. But appreciate you sharing this with us, thank you.

    • I just figure he will want to take his last marvel gaze and then let his bones rest somewhere where they won’t be animal fodder. Especially if he intends for them to be with the chest when it is found. That implies someplace protected – in there.

  7. I took a very similar approach except I started with nine text blocks followed by 9 blanks. Punctuation directs the direction and orientation of the texts. When you complete this step you have a 1200 character puzzle. You then interpret the characters surrounding blanks like hieroglyphs in order to fill in the blanks. The blanks reveal a message. If filled in correctly, a second complex message appears confirming your choice. This is not the final step. It’s similar to the Beale treasure model IMO.

      • As I go alone

        As I go a loan

        We are all on borrowed time

        A stitch in 9 saves

        By placing multiple blocks of 9, you get
        To have a lot of 9 clues to solve. Clues are not linear. They do twist and turn. Move left to right for 40 blocks.
        The next 40 go right to left
        Punctuation guides but is not included.
        Some of the letters are going to be upside down.

        How do you post PDFs to the site?

        • The easiest way is to take a screen shot (image) and upload to a site like as I did above and post the link. You can email me at sking101968 at gmail dot com if you like and I’ll do it for if that is helpful

          • Posting for Lothar

            image available here:



            This the idea behind this solve. Use original poem and 9 spaces to create a series of puzzles.

            The puzzles are hieroglyphs.

            You get to interpret the surrounding block. In this block you will find information on the first and lessor know assassination attempt on Lincoln.

            It was foiled when the Pinkerton agency infiltrated the plot and was able participate in the drawing to be Lincoln’s killer.

            You will need to see letters upside down and backwords. Some keywords here are honored patriot, able, and Ferrandinni.

            Likely there are other overlapping themes if you study. The missing a in patriot wraps to the bottom of the page.

            The gray blocks are the original poem and the white ones are filled in. Notice Booth and pinkerton spelled out.


            I do have my form completely filled out.

            It took about 3 months


  8. He tipped his hat and drew his cane and in this riddle I’ve told his name. A version of this phrase is in the first text block. The second message revealed is a literary figure as well as details about his character. Make the original letter block background gray and the missing characters white. It helps keep them organized when you are solving.

    • I expected you to be the first one to share the definition of the word ANTRE in column 12 of the “HALT HOW – ICE” above.

      Indeed you can spell many words if you reorder the poem in a random way. If you do that it’s nothing more then anagramming in the other direction. I think there are 5.23×10 23rd possible combinations (not that anyone I know would have written a program to test all of them against every word in the dictionary – the longest possible word from that attempt being TAILWATERS — think about that for a while if you doubt this approach)

      The point here and why I think this is the right way to solve this poem even if this specific solve isn’t correct is that by using the word “SUN” as the “tight focus with a word that is KEY” and noticing that either left or right aligned you can at most only have 4 SUNS at any one time. You lock in 4×3 = 12 (of the 24 possible lines). This greatly reduces the number of possibilities and also spells out clear messages like “HALT HOW”. If you start playing with the different possible solves like this you start to see patterns where you can tell that Forrest was trying different ways to encode the message. Look in my right aligned solve above. ‘AND’ lines up perfectly in 3 consecutive rows to spell the “ING” in RISING. If you were ‘architecting’ a puzzle for 15 years and you knew you need a certain letter it would be easiest to write a poem that said “AND _____” where the first letter of the word after AND was what you needed. There are 9 ANDs in the poem. Why?

      As for why not all the other words that you see / could spell – the poem tells you. “look quickly down”. That entire right aligned solve is between columns 20-24 (pretty narrow canyon/creek). FWIW, I can not come up with another message that spans adjacent columns across multiple rows and has a blaze like I can with “IN A WELL AT RISING SUN”. The fact that it also forms an X including the word TREASURE and is pointed to be “THE ANSWER –>” seems to me very much non random. Admittedly, I may have the wrong RISING SUN, but there is no question this one has the best MARVEL GAZE. It’s a spectacular view – one of the most photographed spots in the country. It’s used in numerous movies and art. And I can just see Forrest chuckling to himself about “The Thrill of the ‘Wild Goose’ Chase”.

      I also think that this may explain why he added the caveat of being more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe. There is a pretty prominent RISING SUN south west of Santa Fe.

  9. Stealth,
    Seriously, no intent to offend, but this imo this force fitting 101.
    First you eliminate parts of the poem such as punctuation, Then you move the formatting of the poem or shape if you will, and line up each side even to find different result both times. Then you move lines around to find what you believe to be clues, when all I see being done, is moving lines from their original locations in the poem to make a clue that you like. You put up comments fenn has made to collaborate what you’ve done here, and even admit to ignore others, such as you can’t start looking for the blaze or you can’t start in the middle of the poem etc.
    This exact method as been looked at by many searcher, even puzzle groups and treasure hunting groups, code breakers etc. Each time I see this method… y’all do the same-thing… ignore most of what fenn has stated, moved line from one stanza to another, eliminate what you don’t want in the poem that is originally places by the author and never keep the exact format.
    Heck, give me a couple hours with your method and I’ll be able to tell you who really shot JFK. Like Zaphod explained, there must be billions of combinations with this type of solve… especially if you move lines around, which only leads, imo, to see what you want to see or make up what you hope it to be.

    Where in this theory in an example of looking up meanings of words? Where in this theory is anything straightforwards? or contiguous. I’m just not seeing how this could be a reasonable method when so much is changed and rearranged.

    But that’s just my thought… obviously, others seem to like it. Maybe one of them will check it out for you.

    • Seeker. It’s all good. I admit that I have been lying in wait for your comment in particular. No offense, but I knew it was coming

      I promised before that I would show that the poem has both a circular structure and both internal and external meanings – meaning things like the blaze are both in the poem and with BOTG.

      I also have said that the poem has both HINTS and CLUES.

      And the fact that there are TWO published versions of the poem – one with “THE ANSWER I ALREADY KNOW” and one with “THE ANSWERS I ALREADY KNOW”. Why? Simple typo? OR the hint to right aligning being important.

      I’m not sure which part of “architect” isn’t clear here but this poem was BUILT to contain a solution so that you would move with certainty.

      So, yes, strip out the punctuation, left align the poem. Look quickly down.

      See columns 11 and 20



      Go ahead and tell me that those HINTS are random and that I’ve force fit them. Those my friend are the work of an architect who spent 15 years constructing his masterpiece.

      And Oswald did not act alone in there….

      • Stealth;

        I do not KNOW anything.

        I am NOT a puzzle solver.

        I have never played the kind of games that you have played.

        All I think I know is that there is such a small percentage of the populace that would even think about solving the puzzle the way that you took, that I have to question whether Forrest would have directed his puzzle at such a small audience. THAT is just not logical to me. Ingenious, to say the least. Did Forrest design the puzzle to be solved this way? I doubt it. Did you have fun doing it? If so, all is not lost.

        Just mutterings from a guy that can only think simply, and logically, with a tad of imagination.

        Good luck and TRY to STAY SAFE


        • Thanks JDA. Much respect for your approach. I rely mainly on

          “The person who finds the treasure will have studied the poem over and over, and thought, and analyzed and moved with confidence. Nothing about it will be accidental.”

      • All well and good stealth…yet ya did it again… fenn explained the one version of the poem had a typo.

        Not unlike folks still say a child can walk right to the chest, use it aaconfirmation to how they came up with a solve.. yet fenn corrected that as well.

        Some even told the search committee that wwwh is a dam, because it’s only the waters that halts and fenn is word playing.

        The thing really can’t pick a choose what you want and dismiss or change it , just because it works out well for you.

        So here’s a question… why are words in your solve not all fully spelled out..such as…NTH?. I mean 15 years Is a long time… p
        But fenn never hid the chest until 20 years after the start… if this is the method why not full spellings.

        • That would be a question for Forrest. I guess if you believe that in a poem by an avid fly fisherman the phrase “not on tailwaters” is random then we will agree to respect each other’s approaches. I will believe it’s an enormous hint that this is the methodology to solving the poem.

          • Using your grid…I can find all 50 states spelled out. Fishing terms. Archeology terms. Names of some paintings that have been mentioned etc. That’s my point… move it, change it, rearrange it… you can come up with anything.

            What I haven’t seen is a realist reason for all that rearranging.

          • Seeker. I can’t reply below so I will here. I know we are not going to agree which is fine but I really want this over so hopefully I can help others.

            Just as there are poem purists and those who believe you must use TOTC to find the hints, there are those that think this is a puzzle that you can solve as I do. This requires no special knowledge – no foreign languages, no codes, etc. And “NOT ON TAILWATERS” proves that the poem contains embedded hints. That is beyond the pale of not being random, especially when “not associated with a dam” came later. Any one that disagrees with that I fear will forever be wandering around looking for a special BROWN trout.

            Remember the video a few weeks ago of the bicycle that worked backwards? Right was Left and Left was Right. That was a huge hint from Forrest IMO.

            As for why to re-arrange. The poem tells us to. It literally says

            “PUT IN BELOW….”

            OK. So take a line with the word “IN” that lines up below the words “HOME OF BROWN”.

            There are three.

            And it very clearly says, “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze” “look quickly down”

            Find the blaze where? Why not right in the poem itself? This is Forrest Fenn we are talking about. He’s repeatedly said go back to the poem. Read it again and again. Think. Move with certainty. Architect.

            I think the blaze is the SUN. I think the hint in TOTC that says I used “mountain man WISDOM, the SUN rises in the east…” is a subtle hint not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.

            “Tight focus with a word that is key”.

            I encourage you to really look at my solve. Cut out 24 strips of paper with each line on it. Highlight the S, U, N that can spell sun either left or right aligned. Notice how many places there are 2 or 3 possible choices that could work. These are not random IMO, these are evidence of someone that was tinkering with words in order to get just the right message. There are 9 “AND” in the poem. Maybe I don’t have exactly the right solve. There are 180 combinations left aligned and 167 right aligned that could work and a few small variants from there. I may not have the correct “RISING SUN”. There are several possibilities.

            The point of the blaze/SUN is that it locks in 12 of the 24 lines. This reduces the words that can be spelled in any column.

            To be fair there are only about 500 words that can spelled from these combinations. I know because I did it. Most are not very interesting.

            Think about the line, “THE ANSWER I ALREADY KNOW”. Does that mean what it says — the answer starts with I.

            There is only one place where you can spell multiple words across columns as in “IN, A, WELL, AT RISING, SUN”. Only one and it just happens to start with “THE ANSWER” and have an X crossing TREASURE. Out of the 5.23 x 10 23rd possible combinations of lines in the poem. Call it confirmation bias if you will. I didn’t start out looking for it.

            5 of those 9 lines come from the last 6 lines of the poem. Put yourself in Forrest’s shoes. You know the hiding spot. Now you need to craft a poem to hide it. Start with the key few lines. Build the rest of the poem around that. How would you do it if you were him and wanted to create a fun, difficult, but not impossible challenge that you wanted someone some day to be able to solve?

            I respect your opinion. I would love however to see how you can re-arrange the poem to spell just “NEW MEXICO” as one of your 50 states.

          • Seeker. I meant to add that in TOTC Forrest makes a point to note that he finds it curious a “BUTTERFLY is also a FLUTTERBY”. This seems like a hint toward rearranging IMO

      • Glad u mentioned Oswald. Here’s what I think happened. Lee Harvey was in on a “plan”. He thought he was the assassin. He was told that after he made the attempt that a policeman would pick him up and drive him clear of the scene. Because who is going to stop a police car?

        However, once Lee began shooting he realized there were more gunmen. He then suspected he was being “used”. So when the officer pulled up Oswald shot him and ran back to the theater where he was caught.

        Jack Ruby ( in the mob) was forced to kill him before he “talked”.

        What does this have to do with solving the poem? Nothing. I just wanted to share a theory I have by thinking like Oswald for a few hours.

        That is how detectives work.

  10. I remember Forrest saying “a word is key” but I don’t remember him saying “words (plural) is key.”

    Clever viewpoint though Stealth.

  11. Yes I also thought it was there a couple weeks ago i mentioned that spot in a comment stating look up Lake McDonald in MT and it all make sense. Here’s the thing Missoula has an art muesuem which is pretty much close by where Mr. Fenn could have spent time buying / selling art and collecting artifacts. I’m just glad I’m not the only one how thinks it’s there as well. “Barnum (Brown)” is someone I thought would have inspired Mr. Fenn being of the Indiana Jones likeness which led me to Montana. From there you have Mt Brown close to road to the rising sun and Glacier National Park. Ask me the riddle is solved. Just wish I had a extra dime and time to find it and keep the Fenn legacy going.

      • Where did fenn say a two year old could solve anything???

        Seriously, if you’re going to say something like that…back it up with the exact words fenn said about any two year old.

        • I believe he said something along the lines of give it to a child. I don’t believe he specified an age. FWIW, I have given it to several children ranging from about 8 to about 15. Every time they come up with ideas I had not considered.

  12. JDA—not sure if I’m allowed to post here any more, but wanted to respond to your post above. You got me thinking. My dear dad (God rest his soul) was a P-38 pilot in WW2. Not jut anyone could fly a P-38–the majority of the populace could not fly one. This was because one could be easily killed if you didn’t know how to fly one, and hundreds of thousand of government dollars were at stake for each P-38 manufactured. One had to be specially trained to do so.

    Now think about this treasure for a moment. It is no average treasure—it is worth a million or more, and is filled with ancient valuables, and also things very dear to the creator of the poem. Therefore I do not think this poem was designed so just anyone an solve it. I think it has been designed so that someone very special and deserving finds it. It will be found by someone who is willing to work hard, put in the hours to really study the poem, and someone who has learned to think like Forrest thinks.

    To arrive at somone who can think like Forrest thinks is going to narrow the “populace” down quite radically I would think. I believe that the clues may be very, very simple. But they are hidden so well that it will take a detective to find them. That is why I had posted before about people making 12 trips to look for the Treasure. I don’t think it will be found that way at all. It won’t be solved by the person who takes the most “jabs” at it. It will be solved by someone who had reasearched each letter, word and phrase carefully—-eliminating what is not a clue or hint, and centering on those that are.

    I do not claim to be this “special” person—but I can say this—I aspire to be. I am deeply investigating the poem, and will not leave for a physical search until I have mentally zeroed in on a location (where the poem leads and directs).

    Thanks for the post JDA— I could be completely wrong about all of the above—but I just have this sense that a special person wrote the poem, and a special person will be the one to find it.

    • Hi Joe ;

      Thanks for your post. I agree with you. It will take someone who thinks like Forrest. Like you, I do not claim to be this “special” person—but I can say this—I aspire to be.

      When I said, “All I think I know is that there is such a small percentage of the populace that would even think about solving the puzzle the way that you took, that I have to question whether Forrest would have directed his puzzle at such a small audience.” I was saying that one “special” group would think of solving it using -acrostics, or whatever it is called.

      What you describe is much different. Using intellect and imagination are qualities that EVERYONE possesses to one extent or another. How they apply those qualities will make the difference, but ALL have an equal chance, ALL start with the same “tools”. Almost every person knows how to use a socket set, a set of wrenches, screwdrivers etc, but only a few can do an engine overhaul. It will be the person who can put these tools to FULL use that will solve the puzzle, or at least that is my opinion.

      Good luck to you – use all of your tools to the best of your ability – and TRY to STAY SAFE. JDA

      • JDA—-thanks for the response. I really appreciate what you have to say. Adam and Eve started in a garden with nothing, so you’re right, we all basically start on equal ground. We all have the same tools– that is truly the case. All the best and happy hunting!

  13. Stealth,
    Kudos on the creative thinking but I’m very curious what it is that you consider a “water well” in this solution.

    You said: “I would note that there are MANY “RISING SUN” in the 4 states, but the only one that really makes sense is RISING SUN CAMPGROUND in Glacier National Park (halt how – ice) on St. Mary’s Lake. Several of the lots have potable water wells including number 10 and number 10 from the end. You can find all of this information online.”

    Going online I did find a layout for Rising Sun campground. I appears to be a normal National Park campground with campsites arranged in loops. #10 has a water spigot symbol next to it but a spigot in campground terms is just a faucet to supply potable water to the campers. There’s no enclosure in which to put a chest or body and it’s located right next to the campsite road.

    Maybe I’m missing something or didnt read your description correctly but this doesn’t sound like a spot to hide anything. It’s next to a man made path, and 10s of thousands of folks would have stood right directly on that spot filling water containers. Just of few of the many reasons this doesn’t match with F’s statements about the area.

    Did you actually visit this location?

  14. Stealth,

    I can see you put a lot of thought into this. For that, Good Job.

    And not that I agree or disagree with any or all of it, here is something I remember that may or may not support your theory.

    I don’t recall the full quote, or even where I read it but, f also said something to the effect of . . . “where time is measured by the sun . . .”, or “where the days are measured by the sun . . .” That is only from recall and is not a direct quote.

    Good luck to you sir.

  15. This poem has really got a hold on me. Yesterday, I didn’t shower or shave to almost 5 o’clock! Then I wasted another hour reading a book about rodeo clowns.

    Believe it or not, my mind is so messed up I actually felt I got closer to finding the treasure. I must be going bonkers. 🙂

    I also took a little time to check out stealth’s solve again. Very nice work!

  16. This fits your solution, just slightly different….. but McDonald lake (right there) was renamed when 1800’s Explorer had carved his name in a birch tree which remained for years until new explorers found it and began calling it that based on the carving they saw. Originally…it was “Terry” lake. Whenever I get out of the shower Terry is where my warm waters halt and I dry off. Just an idea I had back with a similar solve but mine was based on Piegan and The Shining opening credits…I was sad to find that summer that in real life Wild Goose Island was only 4,500 and out of Fs limits…but still marvelous. Anyhow it kinda fits beginning and exact same area as yours so figured I’d share if you’re heading out just to add an option in the area. GOOD LUCK AND COOL SOLVE!

    • Thanks Jonsey. Fascinating. I think the Shining was filmed there at the lodge there but I’ll have to go back and look. As the resident linguist on the boards do you want to share the definition of ANTRE?

      • Well…basically Antre is an openin. Latin used antrou as -trou means hole (like a trowel digs a hole) so Latin loosely translated to “old hole”, Nation Creoles used Antre as “an entry” and French as “entree” think ‘Mouth’. Among French and Indian explorers it was used as a term for cave as all languages overlap at the point there are an “opening”. In this case I imagine a well would also be an Antre so I can see why you like it as an “Antre” to more confirmation. I like it 🙂

        And don’t let the people saying its in a box scare you outta your Antre….a poem IS a box. I like that your keeping true to staying in there too!

        As far as my old shining part of a solve the opening sequence is a helicopter scene flying down going to the sun road and over the island. Amazing stories of the guys that filmed it as well as processing and putting it together.

        I think there’s some “old McDonald” poems in the poetry page from last week or so….only Focuseds cow kept getting out of his one acre ranch so we changed topic to allow him to mend his fences and call it back home. I think the neighbors (Ms. O’Leary?) calmed down after a bit. 😉

    • This blog is addicting and full of some unique and cool people from all over. Honestly feel like a kid from the goonies trying to figure out the “F”enn treasure riddle. Lol I can’t escape the hunch of the treasure located near Lake McDonald or Mt Brown. I just have a hard time disproving it because maybe I want it to be there. Only one way to find out and that’s to go. This place is on my bucket list.

  17. From

    BROWN, MT. — Named for William Brown of Chicago, then Solicitor General for the Chicago and Alton Railroad, by some members of his party on a camping and fishing trip to the area around Lake McDonald in 1894. The companions, Charles H. Russell (not the artist) and Frank A. Johnson, climbed this mountain that arose back of their camp, and so named it.

    BROWN PASS — Named for John George (Kootenai) Brown, the first superintendent of Waterton Lakes National Park, who is reported to have used this pass on his first trip into the Waterton Lakes area from California.

    McDONALD, LAKE (Creek, Falls) — In about the year 1878, Duncan McDonald, son of a Hudson’s Bay Company factor, Angus McDonald, visited this lake, which was then known as “Terry Lake,” for General Terry, an outstanding Indian fighter of the west. Duncan, who had the job of freighting a large amount of supplies to Canada, had intended to go up the North Fork of the Flathead, probably over the present Kishenehn trail route, but, upon finding his way blocked by a band of unfriendly Indians, he swung eastward and started up the next adjacent valley paralleling the North Fork. At the close of day, accompanied by a group of Flathead Indians, he came to the shores of this lake and camped there overnight. While in camp that evening he carved his name upon the bark of a birch tree. The next day he continued his journey, reaching Canada safely. The tree bearing his name remained for many years near the present village of Apgar. People who saw the name on the tree gradually began to call it “McDonald’s Lake,” and so the name became fixed.

    • So are you saying the waterton river shed and waterton creek halts by the Terry lake….aptly called McDonald because of an old Blaze?? You see anything about a sunken ship carrying heavy loads of coal up the north pass area when it’s paddles gave out and two trips were required for extra rope….dang….and if it had a name like “wood” or “Oakes”? Nah, that prolly didn’t happen ask the ones that surveyed the edges of that cold glacier area park if it did though 🙂 maybe over some Scrabble and Tea. Once again nice work and I read like how you presented this. Kudos from Ohio!

      • Unless, of course, F really wanted to be sitting at a table of history with family and friends. In which case that spot would just be where Terry sat (proverbially, on the map) and thered still be a few more seats to fill before putting F in the Middle. Aka “Me in the Middle” chapter in TTOTC. Who knows though. That’s just where the lark took me on my solve.

    • Centered? 🙂 Probably score the center of that box someplace East of Toledo. Depending on how one addresses their compass, of course…and whether or not they check #6

  18. Hey Stealth, I like your approach, but, Seeker does bring up some good points. It is force fitting, but that only leads to it being possible. The only problem I see for now is f’s words:

    in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of santa fe” or that there are 9 clues etc. Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope
    Thank you Nope. Nope. f

    So just using the words will not find the chest. Some could say “he asked in 500 years”, but that’s just nit-picking. The final line pretty much cuts it. I don’t think you can fully rule this approach out yet. Some form of the punctuations are needed, my guess is the apostrophes. Maybe replace those with what the actual letters would be. I’ve= I ‘ha’ ve, I’m= I ‘a’ m, etc…

    Maybe trying something along those lines, but as far as the solve now, I don’t think it will find you the chest by using just the words. As far as “very close proximity”, I cannot remember where I found this info but basically, If you cannot see one from the other. If you are on the trail you cannot see the chest, and if at the chest you cannot see the trail. So, you could be 200′ away in a dense forest and that would count as not in very close proximity, but, if driving through Nebraska, 200′ could mean that it is in very close proximity. Hope I wrote that right…Good job.

    • Charlie. TY. I’ve tried it with and without spaces, punctuation, expanding words, etc. I do think punctuation plays a role, but not in the way that you are indicating. That, however, is for another time and place.

      The fact that both column 11 (left aligned) reads NOT ON TAILWATERS and column 20 (left aligned) reads GO LOW NORTH (NTH) HORN when making the poem circular and without punctuation is my proof that this is the right format.

      Maybe HALT HOW – ICE CAVE(RN) is confirmation bias that just coincidentally happens to match “the blaze”, “quickly down” and “warm waters halt”. I didn’t go looking for it. I did look for SUN which I believe to be the blaze and a key word to be in tight focus with. Do you have a different, better blaze? I do look the Lake (Terry) McDonald blaze that jonsey1 referenced above and especially like that it is right in the target search area.

      Before you dismiss my approach though, I encourage you to re-do my steps, because what you will see when you do is that the various alternate ways that you can make the “SUN” appear have striking similarities to each other as if someone was tinkering with the poem trying to get it just right. I can’t explain this in words easily but if you try it with 24 strips of letters and the S, U, N in the 5 columns highlighted you will immediately see what I mean.

      The epiphany for me was to draw the poem nigh.

      I don’t believe that to be confirmation bias of any kind. Those are both, non-random encoded messages or “hints” if you will that are specifically relevant to this search and what we know both about the author and the search area.

      The fact that the only known “typo” regarding ANSWER(S) was corrected in a later publication is further proof. As is the “not associated with a dam” clue which is equivalent to “not on tailwaters”

      Frankly it is somewhat shocking to me that people aren’t jumping up and down at that revelation. Maybe it is so obvious that everyone has known about it for years and is just laughing at me for sharing an important detail publicly. I am pretty sure however that those are the FIRST TWO CLUES. I get that this is a hunt but I invite others that have found things out about the poem to share them as openly. If you prefer to do it in private you can email me a sking101968 at gmail dot com.

      In any case, thanks for the feedback.

      • I will check it out Stealth. Have to check old notes but remember getting a sequence from something, Didn’t know what it was then, I’ll try to find. Just remember starting with 4 and 6. I’ll get back to you.

        But, you still didn’t answer for this comment of f’s:

        in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of santa fe” or that there are 9 clues etc.

        Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest?

        Thank you ~Nope

        Thank you Nope. Nope. f

        If you’re thinking that punctuations play a roll, need to use them. But I see what you are saying. Maybe the big picture will reveal where they need to be used. For now, yes, I have a real good blaze.

        Just would like to see something that tells you what lines to use where and what sequence instead of just picking. I’m sure it’s a concern of yours.

        • The SUN gives you 12 of the 24 lines.

          As for 500 years — I imagine it will be hard to find the RISING SUN CAMPGROUND in 500 years. I also think the ICE at Glacier National park will be gone long before then. IMO

  19. Lothar—— thanks for the above and explanation. Maybe I’ll read “Killing Lincoln” when I’m done with “Crossfire”. Interestingly enough, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald both have 15 letters. I once spent three months trying to figure out why. Then I heard that Kennedy was riding in a Lincoln when he was shot.

    I’m fine now. Just a couple of different meds a day seems to balance everything out nicely.

    • Crossfire is a good book. I know the authors. I should say I knew Mr. Giancana. He is deceased. My friend is the brother of the younger of the authors. I still see the authors brother Chuck. What surprised me when I read the book is that an incident is described in the book that took place the same night that I was at their home.

      IHMO this solve sounds a lot more like deciphering and decoding as opposed to solving what was written in the poem.

    • Just as Mr Fenn in his videos shared history from broken pieces of pottery,it is possible that partial words and word fragments representing symbols could tell a story as well. You may not agree with the results of the solutions but the solution in concept may have merit. Good luck Joe

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